Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 61

Cambridge Encyclopedia

pulley - Types of pulleys, Theory of operation, Examples of devices using pulleys

A simple machine: a wheel with a grooved rim in which a rope can run. This changes the direction of force applied to the rope, and so can be used to raise heavy weights by pulling downwards. The simplest theory of operation for a pulley system assumes that the pulleys and lines are weightless, and that there is no energy loss due to friction. This means that the force on the axle of t…

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pulmonary embolism - Signs, symptoms and risk factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, History

The passage of an embolus (an abnormally circulating body in the blood) into the arteries to the lungs. The most common source is a blood clot (thrombus) originating from an area of thrombosis in the leg. It may lodge in the main pulmonary artery, completely obstructing the flow of blood to the lungs and resulting in sudden death. Smaller clots block blood flow to smaller segments of lung tissue a…

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pulsar - History, Pulsar classes, Application, Significant pulsars, Sources

A cosmic source of rapid and regular bursts of radio waves. The time between successive radio pulses ranges between a few thousandths of a second for the so-called ‘millisecond pulsars’ to over 4 s for the slowest pulsars. Pulsars are collapsed neutron stars, having a mass similar to the Sun, but a diameter of only 10 km/6 mi or so. Over 1000 are known. The first pulsar was discovered …

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pulse (botany) - Common pulse points

A general name applied to peas, beans, and lentils, the edible ripe seeds of several plants of the pea family. Pulses are often rich in protein and nutritious. (Family: Leguminosae.) In medicine, a person's pulse is the throbbing of their arteries as an effect of the heart beat. The pressure pulse is transmitted 15 or more times more rapidly than the blood flow. In most people, the pu…

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pulse (physiology) - Common pulse points

A pressure wave generated by the ejection of blood from the left ventricle into the vascular system. The number of pulsations per minute reflects heart rate, which in humans is between 70 and 90 at rest (exercise, anger, and fever increase pulse rate, whereas depression lowers it). The alternate expansion and recoil of arteries lying near to the body surface can readily be felt (and sometimes seen…

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pumice

A very light and porous igneous rock, usually granitic in chemical composition, formed by solidifying the froth caused by vigorous degassing of volatile substances from a lava during eruption. It is used as an abrasive. Pumice is widely used to make lightweight concrete and as an abrasive, especially in polishes and cosmetics exfoliants. Pumice stones are often used in salons during the ped…

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pump - Types, Power source, Further reading

A machine for moving a fluid or gas from one place to another; commonly used to move fluids, often water, through pipes. The earliest recorded mechanical pumps (square-pallet chain pumps) were in 1st-c BC China. The simplest pump, which uses the pressure of the air, can lift water through a height of only c.10 m/33 ft. More complex pumps provide mains water for the home, and circulate water to c…

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pumpkin - Cultivation, Chucking, Pumpkin seeds, Cooking, Pumpkin trivia

A trailing or climbing vine (Cucurbita maxima) native to America; leaves palmately-lobed; male and female flowers 12·5 cm/5 in diameter, funnel-shaped; fruit usually globular, often reaching great size and weight; rind and flesh orange, rather fibrous, surrounding numerous seeds; cultivated as a vegetable. It is also often used to make Hallowe'en lanterns by placing a candle in the hollowed-out…

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Punch and Judy - Characters, History, Story, Published scripts, Derived usage

A glove-puppet show - named after the man and wife who are its central characters - which developed in Britain from the marionette plays based on Pulcinella, the impudent hunchback of the commedia dell'arte. The Victorian era was the heyday of the itinerant puppeteer with his portable open-air booth, but the tradition has survived and its major features have remained constant. Being a one-man show…

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punctuation

The part of a language's writing system which provides clues to the way a text is organized. Early writing systems made little or no use of punctuation. Punctuation marks were first introduced by Ancient Greek and Roman authors, from around the 2nd-c BC, as an aid to reading a text aloud, and they retain some of that function in modern languages. They are primarily a visual prompt to the lexical a…

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Punic Wars - Punic Wars

The three wars fought and won in the 3rd-c and 2nd-c BC by Rome against her only remaining rival for supreme power in the W Mediterranean, the Phoenician (Punic) city, Carthage. The first (264–241 BC) resulted in Rome's acquisition of her first overseas province, Sicily, hitherto a Carthaginian territory. The second war (218–201 BC) saw Carthage surrender to Rome all her remaining overseas posse…

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punk rock - Characteristics, History

A type of anarchistic rock music, originating in the late 1970s with such UK groups as Generation X, The Buzzcocks, and The Sex Pistols. Their very loudly amplified performances were characterized by the public use of swear words, outrageous behaviour, and clothes and hairstyles which sought to challenge establishment values. Much of the music was derived directly or indirectly from New York bands…

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Punta Arenas - Climate, Sister Cities

53°09S 70°52W, pop (2000e) 141 000. Port and capital of Magallanes y Antártica Chilena region, Chile; most southerly city in Chile, on Brunswick Peninsula facing the Straits of Magellan; founded as penal colony in 19th-c; airfield; sheep-farming trade, exporting wool, skins, and frozen meat; most southerly brewery in world; crude oil and gas; museum at Colegio Salesiano, Museum of Regional Hi…

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pupa - Chrysalis, Cocoon, Further reading

The life-cycle stage of an insect during which the larval form is reorganized to produce the definitive adult form. It is commonly an inactive stage, enclosed in a hard shell (chrysalis) or silken covering (cocoon). A pupa (Latin pupa for doll, pl: pupae or pupas) is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. The pupal stage occurs only in holometabolic insects, t…

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Puppis

A S constellation, partly in the Milky Way, which includes many notable star clusters. Puppis (IPA: /ˈpʊpis/, Latin: poop deck) is a southern constellation. κ1 Pup (or Markab [Markeb], see α Peg, k Vel) 3.80 (7/ξ Pup) 3.34 Asmidiske [Azmidiske] [a misplacement and mistransliteration of ι Car Aspidiske] Stars with Bayer designation: κ Pup 4.84; …

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Puranas - Mahapuranas (महापुराण) and Upapuranas (उपपुराण), Sthala Puranas, Kula Puranas, Other Puranas

In Indian tradition, a set of sacred compositions dating from the Gupta period (AD c.4th-c onwards), dealing with the mythology of Hinduism. They are very important in popular Hinduism. Purana (Sanskrit पुराण, purāṇa, meaning "ancient" or "old") is the name of a genre (or a group of related genres) of Indian written literature (as distinct from oral literature). …

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purchasing power parity (PPP) - Explanation, Big Mac Index, Need for PPP adjustments to GDP, Difficulties

An economic theory that the true rate of exchange between two currencies can be determined by what can be bought with a unit of each currency. Parity is achieved when what can be purchased is the same. In economics, purchasing power parity (PPP) is the method of using the long-run equilibrium exchange rate of two currencies to equalize the currencies' purchasing power. Purchasin…

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Pure Land Buddhism - Overview, Eastern Pure Land

A school of Buddhism founded, it is said, by the Chinese monk, Hui Yuan (334–417). It is characterized by devotion to the Bodhisattva Amitabha, who rules over a ‘pure land’. The goal of those devoted to Amitabha and the pure land is to be reborn there, and attain enlightenment. The school also spread to Japan. Pure Land Buddhism (Chinese: 净土宗, Jìngtǔzōng; Pure Land B…

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purgatory - Early References to Purgatory, Catholic Theology, Christian spirituality, Protestant theology, Mormon theology, Eastern Orthodox theology

In Roman Catholic and some Orthodox teaching, the place and state in which the souls of the dead suffer for their sins before being admitted to heaven. Those in purgatory may be assisted by the prayers of the faithful on Earth. Purgatory commonly refers to a doctrine in the Roman Catholic Church, which posits that those who die in a state of grace undergo a purification in order to achieve …

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Purim - Overview, Reading of the Megillah, Giving of food and charity, The Purim meal, Masquerading, Songs

The Jewish Feast of Lots, celebrated on 14 or 15 Adar (about 1 Mar), commemorating the deliverance of the Jews from a plot to have them massacred, as related in the Book of Esther. Purim (Hebrew: פורים Pûrîm "Lots", from Akkadian pūru) is a joyous Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of Persian Jews from Haman's plot to exterminate them, as recorded in the biblical…

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Purism

A modern art movement founded in 1918 by French artist Amédée Ozenfant (1886–1966) and the architect Le Corbusier. They rejected Cubism, and sought an art of pure and impersonal forms based, however, on the observation of real things. Although no great pictures resulted, Purism influenced modern architecture and design. Purism was a form of Cubism advocated by the French painter Amédée…

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Purple Heart - Appearance, History, Criteria, Presentation procedures, Trivia, Sources

In the USA, a decoration instituted in 1782 as an award for gallantry; it was revived in 1932, since when it has been awarded for wounds received in action. The ribbon is purple with white edges. The Purple Heart is a U.S. military decoration awarded in the name of the President of the United States to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after 5 April 1917 with t…

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purpura - Classification

A condition in which there is spontaneous bleeding into the skin or mucous membranes, giving rise to small scattered areas of bruising. It has many causes, including damage to small blood vessels, disorders of blood platelets, and defects in blood clotting. Purpura is the appearance of red or purple discolorations on the skin, caused by bleeding underneath the skin. Purpura is a…

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pus - Pus in Milk

Yellow liquid formed after localized inflammation, such as an abscess, or on the surface of a wound, produced by infection with certain bacteria (known as pyogenic bacteria). It consists of dead tissue, white blood cells, and micro-organisms. Pus is a whitish-yellow or yellow substance produced during inflammatory responses of the body that can be found in regions of pyogenic bacterial infe…

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Putten - The town of Putten

52°15N 5°36E. Village in Gelderland, the site of a German atrocity in 1944 during the occupation of The Netherlands. After a resistance group had attacked a German military vehicle, the village was partly razed and several hostages immediately shot. About 600 male inhabitants were taken to concentration camps, from which only a few dozen ever returned. Putten (pronunciation (help·info)) …

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putty

A cement made of fine, powdered chalk or white lead, mixed with linseed oil. It is used for filling wood, and for fixing glass in frames. It hardens slowly on exposure to air. Putty powder is a fine, tin oxide powder used for polishing glass and granite. Putty is a generic term for a plastic material similar in texture to clay or dough typically used in domestic construction and repair as a…

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pyelonephritis - Signs and symptoms, Diagnosis

A bacterial inflammation of the kidney, usually associated with infection in the lower urinary tract, such as the bladder. The infection usually reaches the kidney by ascending the ureters, and is encouraged to do so by a lesion causing obstruction to the free flow of urine, such as urinary stones, or enlargement of the prostate. Infection is accompanied by high fever and back pain and needs treat…

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Pygmalion

In Greek mythology, a king of Cyprus, who made a statue of a beautiful woman. He prayed to Aphrodite, and the sculptured figure came to life. Pygmalion may refer to the following: Pygmalion may also refer to: ( Pygmalion was the sculptor who created the ivory statue " Galatea " and fell in love with it. ) Aphrodite ) …

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pygmy owl

A small owl, native to the Americas, Europe, and Asia; inhabits woodland; nests in holes. (Genus: Glaucidium, 6 species. Family: Strigidae.) …

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Pylos - The Name of Navarino, The Bay of Pylos, The Town of Pylos, The Environs of Pylos

A town on the W coast of the Peloponnese, associated in Greek tradition with Nestor, a Greek chief at the time of the Trojan War. Excavations have revealed a large, unfortified Mycenaean palace there. Coordinates: 36°54′N 21°41′E Pylos (Greek Πύλος), formerly Navarino, is the name of a bay and a town on the west coast of the Peloponnese, in the district of Messenia in…

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Pyongyang - History, Administrative divisions, Landmarks, Climate, Sister cities, Further reading

39°00N 125°47E, pop (2000e) 2 906 000. Capital of North Korea, overlooking the R Taedong; Korea's oldest city, founded allegedly in 1122 BC; capital of Choson kingdom, 300–200 BC; colony of China, 108 BC; centre of Han Chinese colonial administration; taken by Japanese, 1592–3; retaken by China, 1593; capital of North Korea since 1948; rebuilt after the Korean War; airport; railway; univers…

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pyramid - Ancient monuments, Modern pyramids, Gallery

An architectural structure on a triangular, square, or polygonal base, with triangular sides meeting in a single point. In Egyptian architecture, it is a sepulchral stone monument with a square base. In Pre-Columbian architecture, it is an artificial hill with a flat top. The phrase the Pyramids usually refers to the Fourth Dynasty pyramids of the Giza plateau on the SW outskirts of modern Cairo. …

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Pyramus and Thisbe - Adaptations

In a story told by Ovid, two lovers who were kept apart by their parents. They conversed through a crack in the wall between their houses, and agreed to meet at Ninus's tomb outside the city of Babylon. Finding Thisbe's blood-stained cloak, Pyramus thought she had been killed by a lion, and committed suicide. When she found him, Thisbe killed herself on his sword. The story is incorporated into Sh…

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Pyrenean mountain dog - Temperament

A breed of dog developed in the Pyrenees several centuries ago to protect sheep; large powerful body with heavy head; thick, usually pale-coloured, coat. The Pyrenean Mountain Dog, known as the Great Pyrenees in the United States, is a large, majestic breed of dog that was used traditionally for protecting livestock (especially sheep) in pasture. Loyal and protective of it…

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Pyrenees - Geography, Landscape, Natural resources, Climate, Preserved areas, Demographics, Summits, External link and references

Mountain range extending W–E from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea, separating the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe; stretches 450 km/280 mi along the French–Spanish frontier; includes Andorra; highest point, Pic de Aneto (3404 m/11 168 ft); Gouffre de la Pierre St Martin, one of the deepest caves in the world; Grotte Casteret, highest ice cave in Europe; observatory at P…

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pyrethrum - Common Names, External Links

A perennial, growing to 45 cm/18 in (Tanacetum cinerariifolium), native to parts of the Balkan peninsula, but extensively cultivated, especially in E Africa and South America; leaves divided, silvery-grey; flower-heads solitary, daisy-like, spreading outer florets white. An insecticide, known in China by the 2nd-c AD, is prepared from the extracts of the powdered and dried flower-heads. (Family:…

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pyridine

C5H5N, boiling point 115°C. An organic base with a vile odour. It occurs in a fraction of coal tar, and is carcinogenic. Many alkaloids are pyridine derivatives. Pyridine is a chemical compound with the formula C5H5N. …

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pyridoxine

A B vitamin (B6) which exists in the form of pyridoxine in vegetable foods and pyridoxal and pyridoxamine in animal foods. In the body, all food forms of this vitamin are converted to pyridoxal phosphate. It acts as a co-enzyme for the enzymes involved in the interconversion and metabolism of amino acids. Deficiency is rare, but large doses of B6 are frequently used as a treatment for several diso…

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pyrite - Pyrite and marcasite, Formal oxidation states for pyrite, marcasite, and arsenopyrite

A metallic yellow iron sulphide (FeS2) mineral, common and widespread, often occurring as well-formed cubic crystals; also termed ‘fool's gold’ because of its colour. It is used as a source of sulphur and in the manufacture of sulphuric acid. The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is iron sulfide, FeS2. Pyrite exposed to the environment during mining and excavation reacts with ox…

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pyroclastic rock

A general name given to rocks formed from fragments of lava ejected from a volcano into the atmosphere. Examples are ignimbrites, consolidated volcanic ash (tuff), and volcanic agglomerate. Pyroclastic rocks or pyroclastics (derived from the Greek πῦρ, meaning fire, and κλαστός, meaning broken) are debris thrown from volcanoes during an eruption. Three modes of transp…

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pyrolysis - Anhydrous pyrolysis, Pyrolysis and waste management, Hydrous pyrolysis, Vacuum pyrolysis

The decomposition of a substance by heating in the absence of oxygen, usually resulting in simpler compounds being formed. The most important example is the pyrolysis or ‘cracking’ of petroleum, by which alkanes are converted into alkenes and shorter alkanes, eg propane may be converted to ethene and methane: CH3CH2CH3?CH2=CH2+CH4. Pyrolysis is the chemical decomposition of organic materi…

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pyrometer

A type of thermometer for measuring high temperatures. In the optical pyrometer, the heat colour of the hot object is compared to that of a heated filament through which a controlled current is passed. When the colours match, the sample temperature is known via the previous calibration of the filament. A pyrometer is a temperature measuring device, which may consist of several different arr…

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Pyrrho

Philosopher, born in Elis, Greece. He travelled in Persia and India with Alexander the Great, then returned to Elis. His opinions are known from the writings of his pupil, Timon. He taught that we can know nothing of the nature of things, but that the best attitude of mind is suspense of judgment, which brings with it ‘an imperturbable peace of mind’. Pyrrhonism is often regarded as the foundati…

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pyruvic acid - Chemistry, Biochemical role, Pyruvic acid's role in the origin of life

CH3–CO–COOH, IUPAC 2-oxopropanoic acid. The non-chiral oxidation product of lactic acid. It occurs in several metabolic reaction pathways. Pyruvic acid (CH3COCO2H) is an alpha-keto acid which plays an important role in biochemical processes. Pyruvic acid is a colorless liquid with a smell similar to acetic acid. In the laboratory, pyruvic acid may be prepared by heating a mixt…

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Pythagoras - Biography, Pythagoreans, Literary works, Influence on Plato, Influence on Esoteric Groups, Quotes concerning Pythagoras

Philosopher and mathematician, born in Samos, Greece. He settled at Crotona, S Italy (c.530 BC) where he founded a moral and religious school. He eventually fled from there because of persecution, settling at Megapontum in Lucania. Pythagoreanism was first a way of life, of moral abstinence and purification, not solely a philosophy; its teaching included the doctrine of the transmigration of souls…

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Pytheas - Voyage, Literary influence, Books and articles

Mariner, born in Massilia (Marseille), Gaul. He sailed past Spain, Gaul, and the E coast of Britain (c.330 BC), and reached the island of ‘Thule’, six days' sail from N Britain (possibly Iceland). His account of the voyage is lost, but referred to by several later writers. Pytheas (Πυθέας, c. 380 – c. 310 BC) was a Greek merchant, geographer and explorer from the Greek colony Mass…

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python - Geographic Range and Habitat, Species

A snake of family Pythonidae (27 species), sometimes included in the boa family; native to Africa, S and SE Asia, Australasia, and (a single species) Central America; a constrictor; minute remnants of hind limbs; eye with vertical slit-like pupil; females lay eggs and often incubate these until they hatch. Python is the common name for a group of non-venomous constricting snakes, specifical…

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pyx

A small metal box used in the Roman Catholic Church for carrying the Blessed Sacrament to the sick; also a larger receptacle for exposing the host or consecrated bread. A pyx or pix is a small container used in the Roman Catholic, Old Catholic and Anglican Churches to carry the consecrated host, the Eucharist, to the sick or invalid or those otherwise unable to come to a church buildi…

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Pyxis

A S constellation, small and faint, lying between Puppis and Hydra. Pyxis (IPA: /ˈpɪksis/, Latin: box) is a minor southern constellation introduced by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille under the name Pyxis Nautica. …

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Q fever - History, Manifestations, Appearance and incidence, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Other, Literature

An infection caused by Coxiella burnettii, a micro-organism that is widespread in nature, infesting cattle and sheep. It is contracted by humans in rural areas from direct contact with infected animals or inhalation of dust from contaminated premises. There is a flu-like illness, which may be complicated by pneumonia or endocarditis (infection of the lining of the heart and heart valves). It can b…

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Qatar - History, Politics, Administrative divisions, Economy, Culture, Qatari law, Education

Official name State of Qatar, Arabic Dawlat al-Qatar Qatar (Arabic: قطر IPA: [ˈqɑ̱.tˁɑ̱r]), officially the State of Qatar (Arabic: دولة قطر, Dawlat Qatar), is an emirate in the Middle East or Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the larger Arabian Peninsula. Qatar forms one of the newer emirates in the Arabian Peni…

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Qazvin - Introduction and history, Qazvini Architecture, Famous Qazvinis, Qazvin today

36º16N 50º00E, pop (2001e) 309 500. City in NC Iran; 144 km/89 mi WNW of Tehran, in the S foothills of the Elburz Mts; headquarters of Abbas I (early 17th-c); suffered frequent damage by earthquakes; railway, airfield. Qazvin (Persian: قزوین, also spelled as Ghazvin) is the largest city and capital of the Province of Qazvin in Iran with an estimated population of 331,409 in 2005.…

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Qing dynasty - Formation of the Manchu state, Claiming the Mandate of Heaven, Kangxi and consolidation

(1644–1912) The last imperial Chinese dynasty. Originating from the Tungusic tribes to the NE, and the Jin dynasty which ruled the N in the Song period (12th–13th-c), they took the appellation Manchu in 1635, and the dynastic title Qing in 1636. Building a power base in Manchuria, Mongolia, and Korea, then invited (1644) to suppress rebellion in China, they subsequently extended supremacy over a…

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Qom - Attractions of Qom, Qom space center, Universities in Qom, Seminaries of Qom

34°39N 50°57E, pop (2000e) 761 000. Industrial town in Qom district, Markazi, Iran; on R Anarbar, 120 km/75 mi SW of Tehran; road and rail junction; gas pipeline; pilgrimage centre for Shiite Muslims; shrine of Fatima. Qom is considered to be a holy city in Shi'a Islam, as it is the site of the shrine of Fatema Mæ'sume, sister of Imām ˤAlī ibn-Mūsā Riđā (Persian Imam Reza, 789…

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quadrature

The position of a planet or the Moon when the angular distance from the Sun, as measured from the Earth, is 90°. The Moon is at half phase when at quadrature. Quadrature, derived from Latin quadrare, may refer to: In signal processing: In mathematics: Quadrature may also refer to: …

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quadrille - The beginning – horsemen, From paired horses to paired dancers, Dances within Dances

A popular 19th-c dance, performed to music (often arranged from contemporary tunes) in a lively duple time. Quadrille is a historic dance performed by four couples in a square formation, a precursor to traditional square dancing. The term quadrille came to exist in the 17th Century, within military parades, where 4 horsemen and their horses performed special square shaped format…

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Quadruple Alliance (1718))

A treaty signed by Britain, France, and the Habsburg emperor, to which the Dutch were expected to accede, to ensure the principle of collective security in W Europe. It provided for mutual guarantees of titles, possessions, and rights of succession, despite Spain's hostility to Italian territorial provisions, and secured peace for a generation (1718–33). The term "Quadruple Alliance" refer…

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Quadruple Alliance (1815))

A treaty signed initially by Austria, Prussia, Russia, and Britain, and acceded to by France in 1818, confirming the 1815 Paris and Vienna provisions for 20 years. It was part of Castlereagh's scheme to guarantee peace through a permanent Concert of Europe. The term "Quadruple Alliance" refers to several historical military alliances; 1- The Quadruple Alliance of 1674 was an all…

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quagga - Attempted revival, Quagga hybrids and similar animals, Trivia

An extinct zebra native to S Africa (Equus quagga); stripes only on head and shoulders; brown body, white legs and tail; last individual died in Amsterdam zoo in 1883. The quagga is an extinct subspecies of the plains zebra, which was once found in great numbers in South Africa's Cape Province and the southern part of the Orange Free State. Recent genetic research at the Smithsonian I…

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quail

A small, short-tailed bird of the pheasant family Phasianidae; native to the New World (29 species) and the Old World (10 species). Indian bush quails are actually small partridges. The name is also used for the unrelated bustard/button-quail and lark quail/quail plover (Family: Turnicidae), the quail dove (Family: Columbidae), quail finch (Family: Estrildidae), and quail thrush (Family: Timaliida…

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quango - History of the term, Republic of Ireland

A shortened form of the term quasi-non-governmental organization, a type of organization which became common in the USA, being established by the private sector but largely or entirely financed by the federal government. In the UK the term has been applied to non-departmental bodies (the exact definition varies) that are neither part of a central government department nor part of local government,…

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quantity theory of money - Principles, Critics

A theory in economics which states that the money supply (M) × the ‘velocity of circulation’ (V) (ie the number of times a year it changes hands) must equal the price level (P) × the real volume of transactions (T): in algebraic terms, MV = PT. Monetarists have argued that inflation is therefore mainly due to changes in the quantity of money, since the velocity of circulation depends on busi…

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quantum chromodynamics - Terminology, Lagrangian, History, The theory, Methods, Experimental tests

A widely accepted theory of strong nuclear force in which quarks are bound together by gluons; proposed in 1973; also known as QCD. Quarks interact because of a ‘colour’ quantity on each in a way analogous to the interaction between charged particles because of the charge on each particle. Quantum chromodynamics (abbreviated as QCD) is the theory of the strong interaction (color force), a…

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quantum computer - The basis of quantum computing, The power of quantum computers, Problems and practicality issues

A computer which makes explicit use of the rules of quantum mechanics. Pioneered by David Deutsch in 1985, it relies on quantum entanglement to achieve a highly parallel operation in which many manipulations are effectively processed simultaneously, offering greatly improved speed over conventional computers, including parallel computers, for certain types of calculation. Elementary calculations a…

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quantum electrodynamics - Physical interpretation of QED, History, Mathematics

A modern theory of electromagnetic interactions, developed by US physicists Richard Feynman and Julian Schwinger (1918–94), Japanese physicist Sinichiro Tomonaga (1906–79), and others during the 1940s; also called QED. Charged subatomic particles interact via photons, the quantum of electromagnetic radiation. The theory predicts the electron g-factor and atomic energy levels to high precision. I…

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quantum entanglement - Background, Pure States, Ensembles, Reduced Density Matrices, Entropy, Applications of entanglement

A fundamental property of quantum systems, first described by Erwin Schrödinger, in which two quantum systems can become correlated in a way which is impossible in classical physics. The two systems retain this correlation such that, under certain circumstances, subsequent action on one system can then have implications for the outcome of a measurement on the other. Explicitly verified by experim…

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quantum field theory - Origin, Quantizing a classical field theory, Renormalization, Gauge theories, Beyond local field theory, History

The most sophisticated form of quantum theory, in which all matter and force particles are expressed as sums over simple waves. It is essential for understanding the processes in which particles are created or destroyed, as when electrons and positrons annihilate at the same time, and is applied to solid state and particle physics. Quantum electrodynamics, quantum chromodynamics, and the Glashow–…

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quantum gravity - Overview, Historical perspective, The "incompatibility" of quantum mechanics and general relativity, Theories

Gravitation acting at submicroscopic length scales where quantum effects are important. Theories of quantum gravity seek to combine features of quantum mechanics and general relativity. In quantum gravity, gravitational interaction would occur via the exchange of gravitons, the proposed quantum of gravitation. However, the view has no experimental support, and as yet no consistent theory has been …

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quantum Hall effect

Regular steps in the Hall conductivity effect at low temperatures in high magnetic fields for electrons constrained to move in a plane, such as in the junction region of silicon-metal oxide semiconductor devices; first observed in 1980 by Klaus von Klitzing and others; sometimes termed the integer quantum Hall effect. It results from the quantized orbiting motion of electrons in a magnetic field. …

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quantum mechanics - Introduction, Theory, Applications, Philosophical consequences, Footnote

A system of mechanics applicable at distances of atomic dimensions, 10?10 m or less, and providing for the description of atoms, molecules, and all phenomena that depend on properties of matter at the atomic level. Among the many technologically important applications of quantum mechanics are superconductors, lasers, and electronics. In 1900, the study of blackbody radiation (electromagnetic radi…

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quantum statistical mechanics - Expectation, Von Neumann entropy, Gibbs canonical ensemble

An extension of statistical mechanics in which quantum conditions on individual particles are taken into account, especially restrictions imposed by the uncertainty principle. From classical probability theory, we know that the expectation of a random variable X is completely determined by its distribution DX by assuming, of course, that the random variable is integrable or that…

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quantum teleportation - Motivation, The result, Entanglement swapping, N-state particles, General teleportation scheme

A way of transferring quantum information from one place to another. It was proposed by US physicist Charles Bennett and collaborators in 1993, and first demonstrated by Anton Zeilinger and others in 1996. Teleportation involving photons can impose the state of a ‘message’ photon, for example its spin orientation, on to a distant ‘recipient’ photon. The state of the original message photon is …

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quantum tunnelling - History and consequences, Semiclassical calculation

A feature specific to quantum systems, in which particles have a certain probability of existing beyond barriers, ie they are able to penetrate barriers that classically would be expected to constrain them. The feature arises from the wave description of quantum systems. Alpha decay, the tunnelling electron microscope, and the Josephson junction all display quantum tunnelling. Quantum tunne…

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quantum well - Fabrication, Applications

A semiconductor structure in which a thin layer of one semiconductor is sandwiched between layers of a different semiconductor material. Materials are chosen so that electrons available to provide conduction in the middle layer are at a lower energy than those in the outer layers, creating an energy ‘well’ confining the middle-layer electrons. Crucially, the middle layer is only a few atoms thic…

1 minute read

quarantine - Practices, History, Notable Quarantines, List of Quarantine Service in the World

A period during which people or animals suspected of carrying a contagious disease are kept in isolation. Originally quarantine was an attempt to prevent the spread of plague in the 14th-c: ships arriving at port were kept isolated and offshore for 40 days (Ital quarantina) - perhaps because this was the period spent in isolation in the desert by Moses and Jesus. Later the principle was applied to…

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quark - Free quarks, Confinement and quark properties, Flavor, Colour, Quark masses, Properties of quarks, Antiquarks, Substructure, History

A fundamental component of matter; symbol q. Though there is experimental support for quarks, none has been observed directly. Six quark types are known, identified by their ‘flavours’: up, down, strange, charm, top, and bottom. The most recently discovered quark is the top quark, seen in proton–antiproton collisions at Fermilab in 1994; it has a mass of about 177 GeV, about as much as an entir…

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quartz

The crystalline form of silicon dioxide (SiO2), one of the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. The clear crystals are known as rock crystal, but it is commonly white and translucent. Semi-precious varieties (eg amethyst) may be coloured. It may occur as microcrystalline varieties, such as chalcedony, agate, and flint. It is very important industrially because of its piezo-electric propertie…

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quartzite

A rock produced by the recrystallization of sandstone by metamorphism, and consisting of interlocking crystals of quartz (metaquartzite). It is also a sandstone with purely siliceous cement (orthoquartzite). Orthoquartzite is a very pure quartz sandstone composed of usually well rounded quartz grains cemented by silica. In true metamorphic quartzite, also called meta-quartzite, …

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quasar - Properties of quasars, Quasar emission generation, History of quasar observation

A distant, compact object far beyond our Galaxy, which looks starlike on a photograph, but has a redshift characteristic of an extremely remote object. The word is a contraction of quasi-stellar object. The distinctive features of quasars are an extremely compact structure and high redshift corresponding to velocities approaching the speed of light. Implied distances run into thousand millions of …

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quassia

A shrub or small tree (Quassia amara) native to tropical America; leaves pinnate; flowers tubular, red. It is cultivated for ornament, and for the bitter wood containing the chemical quassiin, used medicinally to counter dysentery. (Family: Simaroubaceae.) …

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qubit - Representation, Qubit states, Entanglement, Variations of the qubit

The basic element of information in quantum computing; an abbreviation of quantum bit. In conventional computing, the basic element of information is the bit, having values of either ‘0’ or ‘1’. This is a two-state (binary) system. In quantum computing, information is also encoded using two states, but the quantum system is not restricted to existing merely in one or other, and can exist as a …

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Quebec (city) - History, Economy, Demographics, Language, Symbols and emblems

46°50N 71°15W, pop (2000e) 187 800. Capital of Quebec province, Canada, on the St Lawrence R where it meets the St Charles R; built on Cape Diamond, cliff rising 100 m/328 ft; only walled city in North America; 92% French-speaking; site of Iroquoian village Stadacona, 16th-c; visited by Cartier, 1535; French colony founded, 1608; taken by the English, 1629; returned to France, 1632; capital …

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Quebec (province) - History, Economy, Demographics, Language, Symbols and emblems

pop (2000e) 7 722 000; area 1 540 680 km²/594 856 sq mi. Largest province in Canada; boundaries include James and Hudson Bays (NW), Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay (NE), Gulf of St Lawrence (E), and USA (S); Canadian Shield in N four-fifths, a rolling plateau dotted with lakes; tundra in extreme N; rises to 1588 m/5210 ft at Mont d'Iberville; Notre Dame Mts in the S; several rivers flow i…

1 minute read

Quechua - Vocabulary, Trivia

A South American Indian language of the Andean–Equatorial group. The official language of the Incas, it is now spoken by 8 million from Colombia to Chile, and is widely used as a lingua franca. It has a literary history which dates from the 17th-c. Quechua (Runa Simi; It was the language of the Inca Empire, and is today spoken in various dialects by some 10 million people throughout South …

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Queen Anne's War

(1702–1713) The second of the four intercolonial wars waged by Britain and France for control of colonial North America, known in Europe as the War of the Spanish Succession. Both sides made considerable use of Indian allies. Settled by the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), the war resulted in British control of Newfoundland, Acadia, and Hudson Bay. Britain also gained the asiento, an agreement to send s…

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Queen Charlotte Islands

pop (2000e) 5900; area 9790 km²/3779 sq mi. Archipelago of c.150 islands off the W coast of British Columbia, W Canada; extend over c.100 km/60 mi; timber, fishing. The Queen Charlotte Islands or Haida Gwaii are an archipelago off the northwest coast of British Columbia, Canada, consisting of two main islands, Graham Island in the North, and Moresby Island in the south, and app…

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Queen Elizabeth Islands

area over 390 000 km²/150 000 sq mi. Northernmost islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, situated N of latitude 74°N; include Ellesmere, Devon, Prince Patrick, and Cornwallis Is, and the Sverdrup and Parry groups; named in 1953. Many of the islands are among the largest in the world, the largest being Ellesmere Island. Other major islands include Amund Ringnes Island, Axel Heibe…

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Queen Maud Land

Main part of Norwegian Antarctic Territory (between 20°W and 45°W and S of 60°S), extending to the S Pole; claimed by Norway in 1939; scientific bases at Sanae (S Africa) and Novo Lazarevskaya (Russia). The area was first visited in 1930 by Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen as part of efforts to map the Antarctic. …

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Queen of Sheba - Biblical account, Modern African Account, Modern Arab view, Ethiopian account, Christian interpretations, Medieval depictions, Modern theories

Monarch mentioned in the Bible (1 Kings 10 and 2 Chron 9), perhaps from SW Arabia (modern Yemen), although placed by some in N Arabia. She is said to have journeyed to Jerusalem to test the wisdom of Solomon and to exchange gifts, though this may imply a trade pact. The story depicts the splendour of Solomon's court. The Queen of Sheba, (Nigist Saba Amharic: ንግት ሳባ), referred to i…

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Queen's Counsel (QC) - History, Today, Queen's Counsel Dress

A senior member of the English or Scottish bar, when the monarch is a queen; the equivalent term under a king is King's Counsel (KC). A practising barrister or advocate of 10 years' standing may apply to become a Queen's Counsel (or ‘take silk’ - a reference to the gowns which they wear). New appointments (made on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor) are announced annually on Maundy Thursd…

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Queens - History, Geography, Government, Economy, Demographics, Culture, Transportation, Education

pop (2000e) 2 229 400; area 283 km²/109 sq mi. Borough of New York City, USA; co-extensive with Queens Co; at the W end of Long Island; connected to the mainland by the Hell Gate Bridge, and with Manhattan by the Queensboro Bridge; a borough since 1898; contains the two New York airports; area of greatest ethnic diversity in the USA. In Nov 2001 an airliner carrying 255 people crashed into …

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Queensland - Demographics, Economy, Tourism, Transport, History, Universities

pop (2000e) 3 290 000; area 1 727 200 km²/666 900 sq mi. Second largest state in Australia; established as a penal colony, 1824; open to free settlers, 1842; part of New South Wales until 1859; contains 11 statistical divisions; bordered N by the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Torres Strait, and the Coral Sea, and E by the South Pacific Ocean; Cape York Peninsula in the N; the Great Dividing R…

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Quentin (Jerome) Tarantino - Early life, Film career, Aesthetics, Casting, Music, Interconnections, Criticism, Personal life, Trademarks, Filmography, Radio

Film director, producer, actor, and screenwriter, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. He wrote his first screenplay, True Romance (1987, released 1993) while working at Video Archives, Manhattan Beach. Lacking the finance to direct the project himself, he sold his script, and also that of Natural Born Killers (released 1994), thus enabling him to start production of Reservoir Dogs (1992), in which …

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Quentin (Saxby) Blake - Bibliography

Children's writer and illustrator, born in London, UK. He studied English at Cambridge, and became a freelance illustrator, producing cartoons for Punch and other periodicals. Acclaimed for his illustrations in the books of Russell Hoban, Roald Dahl, and other children's authors, he also produced books of his own, such as Mister Magnolia (Kate Greenaway Medal), and The Quentin Blake Book of Nonsen…

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Quentin Reynolds

Journalist and writer, born in Bronx, New York, USA. He served as a European-based World War 2 correspondent for Collier's magazine and wrote several books on his observations, including The Wounded Don't Cry (1941). His career was dampened by accusations of laxity and cowardice by columnist Westbrook Pegler, whom he successfully sued for heavy damages in a celebrated libel case. Quentin Ja…

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Quett (Ketumile Joni) Masire

Politician and president of Botswana (1980–98). He began a journalistic career before entering politics, through the Bangwaketse Tribal Council and then the Legislative Council. In 1962, with Seretse Khama, he was a founder member of the Botswana Democratic Party, and in 1965 became deputy prime minister. When full independence was achieved in 1966 he became vice-president, and in 1980 president,…

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Quetta - History, Geography and climate, Demography, Culture, Sports, Educational institutions, Transport, Sites of interest

30°15N 67°01E, pop (2000e) 465 000. Capital of Baluchistan province, W Pakistan; in the C Brahui Range, 590 km/367 mi N of Karachi; altitude 1650 m/5500 ft; strategic location on the trade route between Afghanistan and the Lower Indus valley; controls the Bolan Pass and the Khojak Pass; acquired by the British, 1876; badly damaged by earthquake, 1935; airfield; railway; centre of a fruit-g…

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quetzal

A Central American bird (Pharomachrus mocinno), inhabiting mountain forests; eats fruit, insects, frogs, lizards, and snails; male with red underparts, green head and back, and very long trailing tail; also known as the resplendent quetzal or resplendent trogon. Revered by the Mayans and Aztecs, it was associated with the god Quetzalcoatl, and is the national bird of Guatemala. Its numbers are now…

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Quetzalcoatl - Antecedents and origins, Cult, Attributes, Moctezuma Controversy

The feathered serpent god of the pre-Columbian Aztec and Mayan cultures of Central America. A powerful figure, in some contexts he is represented as a culture hero, in others as a deity and creator, and in others as the Aztec high priest. He is associated with the invention of the calendar and the re-creation of human life. He provoked the anger of another god, and fled in a boat made of serpent s…

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Quezon City - Geography, Sub-divisions, Economy, Government, History

14°39N 121°01E, pop (2000e) 2 044 000. Residential city in Capital province, Philippines; on Luzon I, NE of Manila; laid out in 1940; former capital, 1948–76; university (1908); textiles, tourism; night procession of La Naval de Manila (Oct). Quezon City P (Filipino: Lungsod Quezon) is the former capital and the most populous city in the Philippines. Located on the island of Luzon, Qu…

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Quiet Revolution - Origins, Education, Economic reforms, Nationalism

A term used to describe the process of accelerated social and economic modernization in Quebec during the 1960s. Under the liberal regime of Jean Lesage, The Révolution Tranquille was characterized by expanded opportunities for French Canadians in higher education, government, and major development projects. The period saw a decline in the influence of the Catholic Church and a rise in Québecois…

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quill

A pen made from the tapered stem of a bird's feather, especially the outer wing feathers of geese. Quills were the chief writing implement from the 6th-c AD until the advent of steel pens in the mid-19th-c. Common writing equipment in medieval times were the quill and parchment or paper. The quill eventually replaced the reed pen. The quill pen was introduced around 700 A.D. The strongest q…

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quillwort

A spore-bearing vascular plant related to clubmosses, mostly aquatic pteridophytes distributed throughout the world; tufted leaves grass-like but cylindrical, enclosing sporangia in their swollen bases. (Genus: Isoetes, 75 species. Family: Isoetaceae.) …

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Quimper - History, Miscellaneous

48°00N 4°09W, pop (2000e) 65 400. Manufacturing and commercial capital of Finistère department, NW France; on estuary of R Odet, 179 km/111 mi W of Rennes; capital of old countship of Carnouailles; railway; pottery (Quimper or Brittany ware) since 16th-c; textiles, tourism; 13th-c Gothic Cathedral of St-Corentin; former bishop's palace (early 16th-c), now a museum; folk festival (Jul). …

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quince

A deciduous shrub or small tree (Cydonia oblonga) reaching 1·5–7·5 m/5–25 ft, native to Asia; leaves oval; flowers pale pink, bowl-shaped, resembling apple blossom; fruit apple- or pear-shaped, 5–12 cm/2–4¾ in diameter in cultivated plants, fragrant but hard when ripe, mainly used in preserves. It is cultivated and naturalized in much of Europe. (Family: Rosaceae.) …

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Quincy (Illinois)

39º56N 91º23W, pop (2000e) 40 400. Seat of Adams Co, W Illinois, USA; on Mississippi R, 150 km/90 mi W of Springfield; birthplace of Mary Astor and Edgar Goodspeed; railway; agricultural machinery, clothing, footwear, food industries. Quincy is the name of several places in the United States of America: Quincy may also refer to: …

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Quincy (Massachusetts)

42º15N 71º00W, pop (2000e) 88 000. Town in Norfolk Co, E Massachusetts, USA; on Quincy Bay, 13 km/8 mi S of Boston; incorporated as part of Braintree (1792), renamed Quincy in honour of Colonel John Quincy; railway; birthplace of Brooks Adams, John Cheever, Josiah Quincy, and US presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams; crypts of the presidents and their wives in United First Parish Churc…

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quinine - Mechanism of action, Sources of quinine, Dosing, Side effects, Non-medical uses of quinine

A drug used in the prevention of malaria, and sometimes in its treatment. It is present in the bark of various Cinchona trees native to the Andes, but it is also cultivated in Sri Lanka, India, and Java. Pure quinine was first isolated from the bark in 1820, and this form of the drug was the only real antimalarial drug in use until the 1920s. Since the development of resistance to new synthetic an…

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quinoline - Isolation and synthesis

C9H7N, boiling point 238°C. An organic base, related to pyridine. Both it and the isomeric isoquinoline are oily liquids, constituents of coal-tar. Quinine and other alkaloids are derivatives of quinoline. Quinoline, also known as 1-azanaphthalene, 1-benzazine, or benzo[b]pyridine, is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound. As it ages, if exposed to light, the liquid tends to…

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quinone - Biochemistry, Organic chemistry

C6H4O2. One of two isomers derived from benzene (benzoquinones) or derivatives of these. They are highly coloured, and a quinone group is often a chromophore of a dyestuff. A quinone (or benzoquinone) is either one of the two isomers of cyclohexadienedione or a derivative thereof. Parabenzoquinone is the oxidized form of hydroquinone, and ortho-benzoquinone is the oxidized form of cat…

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Quinquagesima

In the Western Christian Church, the Sunday before Lent, so called from its being 50 days before Easter, counting inclusively (Lat quinquagesimus, ‘fiftieth’). Quinquagesima is the name for the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. The name originates from Latin quinquagesimus (fiftieth), referring to the fifty days before Easter Sunday using inclusive counting which counts both Sundays (nor…

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Quintilian - Life, Works, Institutio Oratoria, Influence of Quintilian

Roman rhetorician, born in Calagurris, Spain. He studied oratory at Rome, returned there in 68, and became eminent as a pleader and state teacher of the oratorical art. His reputation rests securely on his great work, Institutio Oratoria (Education of an Orator), a complete system of rhetoric in 12 books. Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (c.35-95), Roman rhetorician, widely referred to in…

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Quintin Hogg - Source, Reference

Philanthropist, born in London, UK. Educated at Eton, he went to work in a tea merchant's in a poor area of London. Moved by the plight of the poor children he observed, he determined to improve their lot. With the support of his wife he opened a ‘ragged school’ for destitute children at Charing Cross, then a Youths' Christian Institute, and in 1882 opened Regent Street Polytechnic to teach vari…

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Quintino Sella

Italian politician, born in Sella di Mosso Santa Maria, Piedmont, N Italy. He was one of the most important members of the ‘historic right’ and served as finance minister (1862, 1865, 1869–73). He adopted a very strict fiscal policy - his was the unpopular grist-tax - and succeeded in balancing the budget. He was also a scientist of renown, expert in mathematics and geology. He founded the Club…

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Quintus Sertorius

Roman soldier, born in Nursia. He fought with Marius in Gaul (102 BC) and supported him against Sulla. In 83 BC, as praetor, he was given Spain as his province. In 80 BC he headed a successful rising of natives and Roman exiles against Rome, holding out against Sulla's commanders (including Pompey) for eight years until he was assassinated by his chief lieutenant. Quintus Sertorius (died 72…

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quipu - Possible uses, Quipucamayocs, Conquest, Suppression and destruction, Status today, The encoding system, In literature, In film

An accounting system of knotted cords developed by the Peruvian Incas and others. The system was a complex one, with strings and knots of various lengths, shapes, and colours, and was used for keeping detailed records, such as census information, and for sending messages. Quipu or khipu were recording devices used in the Inca Empire and its predecessor societies in the Andean region. A quip…

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Quit India Movement - World War II and Indian Involvement, Resolution for Immediate Independence, Suppression of the Movement

A campaign launched (Aug 1942) by the Indian National Congress calling for immediate independence from Britain, and threatening mass non-violent struggle if its demands were not met. Gandhi and other Congress leaders were arrested, and the movement quickly suppressed. As a result there were two years of relative quiet in Indian politics. The Quit India Movement (Bharat Chhodo Andolan or the…

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Quito - History, Demographics, Topographical zones, Points of interest, Professional Football teams, Sister cities

0°14S 78°30W, pop (2000e) 1 358 000. Capital of Ecuador in the Andean Sierra of NC Ecuador; second largest city; at E foot of Pichincha volcano; altitude 2850 m/9350 ft, giving it a temperate climate; former Inca capital (old city designated a world heritage site); captured by Spanish, 1534; airport; railway; three universities (1769, 1869, 1946); commerce, mining (clay, sand), food process…

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quoits

An outdoor game demanding great accuracy, which involves the throwing of a metal ring at a peg. It has been a popular sport in England since the middle of the 14th-c. From quoits has developed horseshoe pitching. Quoits (pronounced kwAits)is a traditional lawn game involving the throwing of a metal or rubber ring over a set distance to land over a pin in the centre of a patch of clay. The g…

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quota (IMF)

The share of a member country in the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Its quota determines the amount of its own and other currencies a member has to subscribe on joining. The voting power of a member on decisions by the IMF, and the amount it can borrow if necessary, are both proportional to its quota. A large quota for a rich country such as the USA implies a large subscription and a large say…

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quota (OPEC)

The maximum quantity of oil that a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is supposed to sell in a given period. OPEC sets quotas by periodical negotiation in order to maintain world crude oil prices. As any individual member of a cartel can gain by selling more than its quota while others stick to theirs, there is some suspicion that OPEC quotas are not fully effective…

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QwaQwa

Former national state or non-independent black homeland in South Africa; self-governing status, 1974; incorporated into KwaZulu Natal following the new South African constitution of 1994. QwaQwa was a Bantustan, or homeland, in the eastern part of South Africa. It encompassed a very small region of 655 km² in the east of the former South African province of Orange Free State, borderi…

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R(ichard) Buckminster Fuller - History, Legacy, Winter Soldier, Powers and abilities, Alternate versions, In other media, Notability

Inventor, designer, and futurist, born in Milton, Massachusetts, USA. The great-nephew of Margaret Fuller, he left Harvard early and largely educated himself while working at industrial jobs and serving in the US Navy during World War 1. One of the century's most original minds, he free-lanced his talents, solving problems of human shelter, nutrition, transportation, environmental pollution, and d…

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R(ichard) L(aurence) M(illington) Synge

Biochemist, born in Chester, Cheshire, NWC England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and joined the Wool Industry Research Association at Leeds (1941–3), where he worked with Archer Martin in devising the chromatographic methods that revolutionized analytical chemistry. He spent much of his career at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen (1948–67) and the Food Research Institute at Norwich (1967…

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R(obert) Bruce Merrifield - Early life, Career, Personal life

Organic chemist, born in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. He studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, and joined the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York City (1949), where he became professor (1966) and John D Rockefeller, Jr, Professor (1984–1992, then emeritus). There he devised (1959–62) the important and now much-used ‘solid phase’ method for synthesizing peptides and …

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R(obert) Crumb - Life and career, Legacy, Additional information, Awards and honors

Cartoonist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. While living in the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco during the hippie movement of the 1960s, he created the classic underground ‘comix’ series Zap (1967) and Snatch (1968), featuring the overtly sexual escapades of Mr Natural, the grotesquely voluptuous Angelfood McSpade, the sexually repressed suburbanite Whiteman, and many others. H…

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R(obert) F(alcon) Scott - Childhood and early career, Discovery expedition 1901-1904, Terra Nova expedition 1910-1913

Antarctic explorer, born in Devonport, Devon, SW England, UK. He joined the navy in 1881, and commanded the National Antarctic Expedition (1901–4) which explored the Ross Sea area, and discovered King Edward VII Land. In 1910 he led a second expedition to the South Pole (17 Jan 1912), only to discover that the Norwegian expedition under Amundsen had beaten them by a month. All members of his part…

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R(obert) M(ichael) Ballantyne

Writer of boys' books, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK, a nephew of James and John Ballantyne. He studied at the Edinburgh Academy, joined the Hudson's Bay Company in 1841, and worked as a clerk at the Red River Settlement in the backwoods of N Canada until 1847, before returning to Edinburgh in 1848. He wrote his first stories on his experiences in Canada, with books such as The Young Fur Trad…

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R(obert) Nathaniel Dett - Biography, Music

Composer, pianist, and conductor, born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. He was the first African-American student to graduate from Oberlin Conservatory (1908), and he later studied at Columbia University, Harvard, Eastman School of Music, and with Nadia Boulanger in France. He was director of music at Hampton Institute (1913–31) where he conducted a nationally acclaimed choir, and was an active…

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R(obert) R(oswell) Palmer

Historian, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He studied at the universities of Chicago and Cornell (1934 PhD), and taught political history at Princeton (1936–63, 1966–9) and Yale (1969). His focus on the French Revolution as the ‘shaping’ event in modern history received recognition with a Bancroft Award (1960) for The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America,…

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R(obert) S(tephen) Hawker - Works

Poet, born in Plymouth, Devon, SW England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and in 1834 became vicar of Morwenstow, on the Cornish coast, where he shared many of the superstitions of his people. He was devoted to animals, many of which accompanied him to church. His first volume Tendrils by Reuben appeared anonymously when he was only 18. A local newspaper published his best-known ballad, ‘Song of the W…

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R(onald) D(avid) Laing - Biography, Laing's view of madness

Psychiatrist, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. He studied at the University of Glasgow, where he practised as a psychiatrist (1953–6). He joined the Tavistock Clinic in London in 1957, and the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations in 1960. He is noted for his studies of schizophrenia, and published his revolutionary ideas in The Divided Self (1960), which suggested that psychiatrists should not…

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Raadspensionaris

The top legal official of the provincial States during the time of the Republic of The Netherlands. Local titles varied - ‘syndicus’ in Groningen, ‘griffier’ (recorder) in Overijssel, ‘secretaris’ in Utrecht and Friesland, and ‘raadpensionaris’ in Holland and Zeeland. His function was particularly important in Holland, where he chaired the meetings and ran the administration and attended m…

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Rab

44°46N 14°44E, pop (2000e) 9300. Island in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of W Croatia; a leading resort island since the 1950s; noted for fruit and wine. Rab (Italian Arbe) is an island and a town of the same name located just off the northern Croatian coast in the Adriatic Sea, today in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar county. The island is 22 km long, has an area of 93.6 km² and…

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Rabat (Malta) - History, Natives from Rabat, Reference

35°53N 14°25E, pop (2000e) 14 000. Town in SWC Malta, 10 km/6 mi SW of Valletta; St Paul lived in a cave here during his 3-month stay on the island after shipwreck, AD 60; Roman villa and museum of Roman antiquities, St Paul's Grotto, Verdala Castle, St Agatha and St Paul's Catacombs. Rabat (Arabic الرباط, transliterated ar-Rabāṭ or ar-Ribāṭ), population 1.2 million (2005 …

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Rabat (Morocco) - History, Natives from Rabat, Reference

34°02N 6°51W, pop (2000e) 756 000. Capital of Morocco, 90 km/56 mi NE of Casablanca at the mouth of the Bou Regreg; one of Morocco's four imperial cities; originally a fortified monastery; city founded, 12th-c; French colonialists established a Residency-General, 1912; airport; railway; university (1957); textiles, carpets, cement bricks, flour milling; mausoleum of Mohammed V, Hassan Tower,…

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rabbi - History, Sages as rabbis, The role of the rabbi in the last 200 years

In Judaism after AD 70, a title for accredited Jewish teachers or sages, who often exercised judicial functions too; prior to 70, used less technically as a form of respectful address, as presumably in the New Testament Gospels. The teachings of these early sages are preserved in the Mishnah, the Talmud, and many other forms of rabbinic literature. Rabban is a superior form of the title, used in t…

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rabbit - Differences from hares, Humans' relationship with rabbits, Domestic rabbits, Environmental problems with rabbits, Classification

A mammal of the order Lagomorpha, family Leporidae (23 species); differs from the closely related hare in several respects (different skull features, smaller, gives birth to naked young, lives in groups, burrows to produce complex warrens, lacks black ear tips); also called con(e)y - a name often used for rabbit skin. The domestic rabbit, also known as the European rabbit or Old World rabbit (Oryc…

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rabies - Recently publicised cases, Transport of pet animals between countries

A virus infection that affects a wide range of animals, such as dogs, cats, foxes, skunks, and vampire bats; also known as hydrophobia. It is transmitted to humans by bites, or by licks on skin abrasions or intact mucous membranes. The central nervous system is affected, leading to restlessness, convulsions, paralysis and loss of sensation, delusions, and hallucinations. The alternative name stems…

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Rabindranath Tagore - Early life (1861–1901), Santiniketan (1901–1932), Twilight years (1932–1941), Travels, Works, Political views

Poet and philosopher, born in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), E India. He is best known for his poetic works, notably Gitanjali (1912, Song Offering), and his short stories, such as Galpaguccha (1912, A Bunch of Stories), but he also wrote plays (such as Chitra, 1896) and novels (such as Binodini, 1902). In 1901 he founded near Bolpur the Santiniketan, a communal school to blend Eastern and Western p…

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raccoon - Species, Behavior, Disease, Raccoons as Pets, Raccoons as Food

A mammal of genus Procyon (7 species), native to North and Central America; grey with dark bands around tail; face pale with black band across eyes; inhabits woodland and scrubland near water; eats fruit, nuts, and small animals. (Family: Procyonidae.) Raccoons are nocturnal mammals in the genus Procyon of the Procyonidae family. There are three species of raccoon. Raccoons can …

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race - History, Human genetic variation, Incongruities of racial classifications, Current views across disciplines

A biologically distinctive major division of a species, in which the differences between recognized races exceed the variation within them. While useful in describing variation in many plants and animals, where race is often equated with subspecies, the concept has little or no value for describing human biological diversity. This is because the pattern of human variation is predominantly one of w…

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RACE - History, Human genetic variation, Incongruities of racial classifications, Current views across disciplines

Acronym for Research in Advanced Communications in Europe, a European special programme of research in telecommunications particularly related to data communications. The term race distinguishes one population of an animal species (including human) from another of the same subspecies. The most widely used human racial categories are based on visible traits (especially skin color and f…

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Rachel

Biblical character, the daughter of Laban and wife of Jacob, and the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. According to Genesis 29, Jacob worked 14 years to earn Rachel as his wife, after having once been tricked into taking her elder sister Leah. At first, Rachel was said to be barren, but she died when giving birth to her second son, Benjamin. Jacob journeyed to Rachel's home, sent by his mother…

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Rachel (Louise) Carson - Early life and education, Early career and publications, Silent Spring and the DDT ban

Marine biologist, environmentalist, and writer, born in Springdale, Pennsylvania, USA. She grew up on a Pennsylvania farm, graduated from the Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham College) in 1929, and went on to further studies at Johns Hopkins University. She taught at the University of Maryland for five years before joining the US Fish and Wildlife Service (1936). Her first book, Under th…

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Rachel Whiteread - Family life, Works, See also, References, External links

Artist and sculptor, born in London, UK. She studied at Brighton Polytechnic and the Slade School of Art in London, and became known for her casts of ordinary domestic objects, such as wardrobes and baths. In 1993 she captured the public imagination with her life-sized cement cast of a three-storey terraced house in East London. The project gained her the Turner Prize and was demolished soon after…

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Rachis

King of the Lombards. Duke of Friuli, who became king in 744. As ruler he assimilated Rotari's code, maintained a good relationship with the papacy, but clashed with the Byzantines when he invaded the pentapolis. He abdicated in favour of his brother, Aistulf (756), and went into a monastery, but soon ruled again at Aistulf's death (756) until ousted by Desiderio. The rachis (pronounced /ˈ…

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racism - Definitions of racism, Academic racism, Individual racism, Institutional racism, Ideological racism, History of racism

An ideology that claims to explain an alleged inferiority of certain racial or ethnic groups in terms of their biological or physical characteristics. Racist beliefs have been used to justify genocide, chronic poverty, and the maintenance of systems of inequality (such as South African apartheid and the so-called ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Bosnia). Institutional racism consists of the collective fail…

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radar - History, Radar signal processing, Radar engineering, Radar functions and roles, Further reading

Acronym for radio detection and ranging, a system developed in the 1930s whereby the position and distance of objects can be determined by measuring the time taken for radio waves to be reflected and returned. Continuous wave radar detects returned signals by their different frequencies. Pulsed radar transmits short pulses at regular intervals from a directional antenna. Some types of radars, call…

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radar astronomy - Planetary, Asteroids and comets

The use of pulses of radio waves to detect the distances and map the surfaces of objects in the Solar System. It has been applied with great success to Venus and several asteroids, and in measuring the diameters of the nuclei of comets. The strength of the radar return signal is proportional to the inverse fourth-power of the distance. Radar techniques provide unavailable inform…

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radian - Definition, History, Explanation, Dimensional analysis, SI multiples

SI unit for measuring angles in a plane: symbol rad; 1 radian is the angle subtended at the centre of a circle by an arc along the circumference equal in length to the circle's radius; thus ? radians = 180°. The radian is a unit of plane angle. The radian was formerly an SI supplementary unit, but this category was abolished from the SI system in 1995 and the radian is now c…

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radical

An unstable molecule containing unpaired electrons (eg CH3, methyl). The term is also used as a synonym for ‘group’ in the sense of ‘part of a molecule’. In mathematics: In science: In linguistics: In politics: In commerce: …

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radicalism

Any set of ideas, of either left or right, which argues for more substantial social and political change than is supported in the political mainstream. What is radical is a matter of judgment, and so the term is very widely applied. In a number of countries there are Radical Parties which are left of centre. Radicalism may refer to: …

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radiesthesia

The use of dowsing as a method of diagnosing disease and selecting a suitable treatment, usually in the form of a herbal or homeopathic remedy. One method, using a pendulum, developed in France at the beginning of the 20th-c, was introduced to the UK in 1939 by Dr George Laurence, who founded the Medical Society for the Study of Radiesthesia. The technique does not require the actual presence of t…

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radio - Means of Communication Radio/TV, History and invention, Uses of radio

The transmission of sound signals through space by means of radio-frequency electromagnetic waves. In 1888 the German physicist Heinrich Hertz produced and detected radio waves, developing the equations made by James Clerk Maxwell. Guglielmo Marconi constructed a device to translate radio waves into electrical signals, and in 1901 transmitted signals across the Atlantic Ocean. Prior to World War 1…

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radio astronomy - Developments, Sources of radio emission

The exploration of the universe by detecting radio emission from celestial objects. The frequency range is very great, from 10 mHz to 300 gHz. A variety of antennas are used, from single dishes to elaborate networks of telescopes forming intercontinental radio interferometers. The principal sources of cosmic radio emission are the Sun, Jupiter, interstellar gas, pulsars, supernova remnants, radi…

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radio beacon

A fixed radio transmitting station, sending out a coded signal characteristic of that station. This helps aircraft pilots and ships' captains to navigate safely, especially in bad weather conditions. Using two or more radio beacons, a direction finder aboard a vessel can accurately pinpoint the vessel's position. Before the days of VOR, GPS, LORAN, beacons were used with direction finding e…

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radio galaxy - Emission processes, Radio structures, Life cycles and dynamics, Host galaxies and environments, Unified models

A galaxy which is an intense source of cosmic radio waves - about one galaxy in a million. In such objects, an active galactic nucleus (almost certainly a black hole) is producing immense quantities of electrons travelling at almost the speed of light. When these encounter a magnetic field, they spiral around the field lines, emitting synchrotron radiation as radio waves. Some radio galaxies are e…

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radioactive waste - Sources of waste, Basic overview, Types of radioactive waste, Accidents involving radioactive waste

A byproduct of the many processes involved in the generation of nuclear power. Despite nearly 30 years of commercial nuclear power generation, there is no acceptable solution to the problem of radioactive waste disposal. Three levels of waste are produced: low, intermediate, and high. Low-level and intermediate-level waste is generally buried in pits: at Drigg, adjacent to the Sellafield nuclear c…

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radiobiology - References and further reading

The branch of biology concerned with the effects of radioactive materials on living organisms, and with the use of radioactive tracers to study metabolic processes. Radiation biology is the interdisciplinary field of science that studies the biological effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation of the whole electromagnetic spectrum, including radioactivity (alpha, beta and gamma),…

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radiocarbon dating - Furthering the technique and applications, Basic chemistry, Measurements and scales, Calibration, Radiocarbon half-life, Examples

A radiometric method for measuring the decay of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 in organic material up to 80 000 years old, developed in 1948–9 by Willard Libby. Living animals and plants take in carbon, which contains some radioactive carbon-14. When the organism dies, it stops taking in carbon, and as the carbon-14 decays, its proportion to the total amount of carbon decreases in a way which…

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radiochemistry

The production and use of radioisotopes to study chemical compounds and their reactions. An example is the synthesis of compounds incorporating radioactive atoms in specific sites, to see whether those atoms are present in a product of a subsequent chemical reaction. Radiochemistry deals with the use of radioactivity to study ordinary chemical reactions. The radiation emitted can be one of …

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radiography - History of medical radiography, Equipment, Uses, Theory of X-ray attenuation, Obsolete terminology

Producing a photographic image (actually a shadow-image) of a structure which is penetrated by X-rays, gamma-rays, or electrons. These radiations are, in general, differentially absorbed by the different parts of any structure, and produce corresponding densities of exposure on a photographic film. The first radiograph was made by Röntgen in 1895, and the technique is now highly developed for med…

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radiometric dating - Fundamentals of radiometric dating, Modern dating techniques, Short-range dating techniques

A method for determining the absolute age of a rock by measuring the amount of radioactive element present and comparing it to the amount of stable element into which it decays. This ratio, in conjunction with the known half-life of the radiometric element, is used to calculate the age of the rock or mineral being measured. Radiometric dating is a technique used to date materials based on a…

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radionics - Types of radionic devices, Diagnostic usage, Magical means of operation, Further reading

An application of radiesthesia using an instrument devised by Dr Albert Abrams (d.1924). Although his ‘black box’ contained no power source or electronic circuitry, Abrams claimed that it could be tuned into the energy waves emanating from a biological sample (‘the witness’) by rotating a small bar magnet. A series of dials on the instrument are set to correspond with various disease condition…

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radish

An annual or biennial (Raphanus sativus ) with a tuberous root, irregularly lobed leaves, and cross-shaped, white to purplish flowers. Its origin is unknown, but it has been used as a vegetable since Ancient Egyptian times. Summer radishes are small and fast-growing; winter radishes are large, up to 250 g/9 oz, and slower-growing. The related wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) has slender roots…

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radium

Ra, element 88, melting point 700°C. A metal, with all its isotopes radioactive. The most stable isotope, 226Ra, has a half-life of only 1620 years, but it occurs in uranium ores as a product of radioactive decay, and its main source is extraction from these ores. Its chemical properties are similar to those of barium, but all its uses relate to its radioactivity, and it is usually used as a salt…

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radon - Compounds, Radon therapy

Rn, element 86, boiling point ?62°C. The heaviest of the noble gases. It has several isotopes: that with the longest half-life (4 days) is 222Rn, formed with radium. It is continuously liberated to the atmosphere by natural radioactive decay; on average, a litre of air contains about 1000 atoms of Rn (1 part in 1020). Its few compounds, mainly fluorides, are similar to those of xenon; its primary…

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Rafael Nadal - Grand Slam singles finals, ATP Masters Series singles finals, Titles (20)

Tennis player, born in Manacor, Mallorca. He began playing tennis at age four with his uncle Toni Nadal, who remains his coach. He turned professional in 2001 and earned the ATP Newcomer of the Year award in 2003. His championship titles in 2005 included the Monte Carlo Masters, Rome Masters, The French Open, and the China Open. In 2006 he defeated the world number 1 Roger Federer to retain the Ro…

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Rafael Sabatini - Life, Works, Epitaph

Writer, born in Jesi, EC Italy. Writing in English, he first made his name as an author of historical romances with The Tavern Knight (1904). He settled in England, UK in 1905, and wrote many tales, including The Sea Hawk (1915), Scaramouche (1921), and Captain Blood (1922), as well as historical biographies and a study of Torquemada (1913). Rafael Sabatini (April 29, 1875 - February 13, 19…

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Raffaele Cadorna

Military leader, born in Pallanza, Piedmont, NW Italy, the son of Luigi Cadorna. From 8 September 1943 he was put in charge of defending Rome from the Germans, and appointed by Badoglio as military leader of the Corpo Volontari della Libertà (a corps of anti-Fascist volunteers) during 1944–5. He became chief of staff (1945–7) and a senator (1948–63). Raffaele Cadorna (February 9, 1815 -…

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raffia palm

A tree growing to 7·5 m/25 ft, native to Africa; leaves 18 m/60 ft, feathery. The surface of the young leaflets is stripped to provide raffia fibre. (Genus: Raffia, 30 species. Family: Palmae.) The Raffia palms (Raphia) are a genus of 20 species of palms, native to tropical regions of Africa, Madagascar, with one species (R. Raffia fibres have many uses, especially in the a…

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rafflesia

The best-known member of an entirely parasitic family of flowering plants from the tropics and subtropics. All are obligate parasites, in which the plant is reduced to a web of cells, most closely resembling the hyphae of fungi, which spread through the body of the host plant. Only the flowers are recognizable as belonging to a flowering-plant, developing as buds within the host tissue and burstin…

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ragged school

In the UK, a school where education was offered free to the children of the poor, who often came to school without shoes and in ragged clothing. It was a development of the early 19th-c by John Pounds of Portsmouth (1766–1839). Ragged schools is a name given to the 19th century charity schools in the United Kingdom which provided education and, in most cases, food, clothing, and lodging fo…

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Ragnar (Anton Kittil) Frisch

Economist, born in Oslo, Norway. A pioneer of econometrics, he created national economic planning decision models, and advised developing countries. In 1969 he shared the first Nobel Prize for Economics. Ragnar Anton Kittil Frisch (March 3, 1895 – January 31, 1973) was a Norwegian economist. He received the Antonio Feltrinelli prize from the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in 1…

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Ragnar (Arthur) Granit

Physiologist, born in Helsinki, Finland. He studied at Helsinki University, and after working at the universities of Pennsylvania and Oxford (1928–31) became professor of neurophysiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (1940–67), and a Swedish national. He pioneered the study of the neurophysiology of vision by the use of microelectrodes, and shared the 1967 Nobel Prize for Physiology o…

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ragtime - Historical context, Styles of ragtime, Ragtime revivals, Ragtime composers, Samples, Sources

A type of syncopated US music popular from c.1890 to c.1920, when it yielded to (and influenced) the new jazz style. Despite the popularity of Irving Berlin's song, Alexander's Ragtime Band (1911), ‘rags’ were composed mainly for piano, and ragtime was popularized by Scott Joplin and other pianist–composers. Its revival in the 1970s was mainly due to the advocacy of US scholar, pianist and cond…

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ragwort - Botanical description, Taxonomy, Distribution, Biological control, Poisonous effects, Medicine, Other usage, Literature, Cultivation, Trivia

A robust biennial or perennial (Senecio jacobaea), growing to 1·5 m/5 ft, native to Europe and W Asia, but widely introduced elsewhere; leaves with irregularly toothed lobes; flower-heads numerous, up to 2·5 cm/1 in across, bright golden yellow and daisy-like, in dense flat-topped clusters. It is poisonous to livestock if eaten in quantity, and is usually avoided by grazing cattle. (Family: …

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Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Biography, Legacy and influence, Albums as a Leader

Blind jazz musician and composer, born in Columbus, Ohio, USA, whose work combined elements of bebop and free jazz. He was a virtuoso performer on saxophones, flutes, and many other wind instruments, including the ‘manzello’ and the ‘stritch’, sometimes playing two or three at the same time; another novelty was ‘voice-over’, singing across the mouthpiece of his flute. He worked with the Char…

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rail

A bird of the worldwide family Rallidae (c.130 species), possibly the most widespread group of terrestrial birds; large legs, short rounded wings, and short tails; many (not all) found near water; many extinct species. The name is also used for rail-babblers (Family: Timaliidae) and Bensch's rail (Family: Mesitornithidae). A new species was discovered in the forests of Calayan in the Philippines i…

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railway signalling - Blocks, Interlocking Signals, Modern signaling in the U.S.

A system for controlling the movement of trains, formerly using flags and hand-operated mechanical signals, and in recent years radio and electronic systems. In the UK in the 1980s, British Rail installed computer-controlled 4-aspect signalling, designed to interlock with the points system. Trackside colour light signals give the driver instructions: green (go), red (stop), double yellow (caution)…

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Raimondo Montecuccoli

Soldier and writer, born in Montecuccolo Castle, NC Italy. In the service of the Habsburgs, he took part in the Thirty Years' War. Later, he defeated the Turks at St Gottardo on the Raab (1664) and successfully fought in the war against Louis XIV. He is best known as a theorist on the art of war. Raimondo, Count of Montecúccoli or Montecucculi (de: Raimondo Graf Montecúccoli), (born Febru…

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Raimu

Actor, born in Toulon, SE France. A child entertainer, he worked in mime and as a croupier before moving to Paris, making his film debut in 1912. He appeared throughout the 1920s in revues, operettas, and comedies before creating the character of César in Marius (1929), which he repeated on film in 1931. Able to combine pathos and humour in his portrayals of the dignified French working man, his …

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rain gauge - History, Standard rain gauge, Weighing precipitation gauge, Tipping bucket rain gauge, Optical rain gauge

A meteorological instrument used to measure the amount of rainfall for a given period. It is commonly in the form of a bucket, with an opening of known size, which funnels rain into a measuring cylinder below. To maintain standards, measurements are made at set times using standardized instruments. Automatic rain gauges recording time and amount of rain are used to calculate rainfall intensity. …

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rainbow - Scientific explanation, Variations, History of the science of rainbows, Rainbows in culture

An arc of light comprising the spectral colours, formed when the Sun's rays are refracted and internally reflected by raindrops acting as prisms or lenses. It is visible when the Sun is behind the observer and the rain is in front. A double rainbow may occur when some of the light is refracted twice. Even though a rainbow spans a continuous spectrum of colours, traditionally the full sequen…

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Rainer (Candidus) Barzel

German politician, born in Braniewo, Poland (formerly, Braunsberg, East Prussia, Germany). During World War 2 he volunteered for the Luftwaffe and saw active service over Norway and the Black Sea, receiving the Iron Cross. After the war he studied law at Cologne University (1945–9), and joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) centre-right political party. A member of the Bundestag for the CDU…

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Rainer Maria Rilke - Life, Rilke's influence, Selection of works

Lyric poet, born in Prague, Czech Republic. He studied at Prague, Munich, and Berlin. His three-part poem cycle, Das Stundenbuch (1905, The Book of Hours), written after visiting Russia, shows the deep influence of Russian Pietism. Mysticism was abandoned for the aesthetic ideal in Gedichte (1907–8, Poems), seen also in his two major works, Die Sonnette an Orpheus (Sonnets to Orpheus) and Duinese…

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder - Documentaries about Fassbinder, Bibliographies

Film director, writer, and actor, born in Bad Wörishofen, S Germany. He began his career as an actor in fringe theatre in Munich, founding his own ‘anti-theatre’ company, a commune of actors which included Hanna Schygulla. His work in cinema began in 1969, and was much influenced by Jean-Luc Godard. He completed over 40 full-length films, largely politically committed criticisms of contemporary…

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rainforest - Trees, Rainforest layers, Fauna, Human uses, Deforestation

The vegetation type found in wet equatorial regions and other areas of high precipitation, such as the Coast Mountains of NW USA, and New Zealand. Tropical rainforests are characterized by a great diversity of plant and animal species, a closed canopy layer which allows little light to reach the forest floor, and rapid nutrient cycling within the forest. Despite the luxuriant growth of these fores…

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Rajasthan - Geography, History, Economy, Demography, Temples, Culture, Government and politics, Education, Flora and fauna, Sports, Transport, Districts

pop (2001e) 56 473 100; area 342 214 km²/132 095 sq mi. State in NW India, bounded W by Pakistan; formed in 1948; capital, Jaipur; governed by a 200-member Legislative Assembly; crossed by numerous rivers; Thar desert in the W; Anavalli range to the S; pulses, sugar cane, oilseed, cotton; textiles, cement, glass, sugar; phosphate, silver, asbestos, copper, feldspar, limestone, salt. …

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Rajendra Prasad - Early life, During the Independence Movement, Passing and Legacy

Indian statesman and first president (1950–62), born in Zeradei, Bihar, E India. He studied law, but left legal practice to become a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. A member of the Working Committee of the All-India Congress in 1922, he was president of the Congress several times between 1934 and 1948. In 1946 he was appointed minister for food and agriculture, and president of the Indian Constituent…

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Rajiv Gandhi - Early life, Entry into politics, Prime Minister, Bofors scandal, Sri Lanka Policy, Assassination, External Links

Indian statesman and prime minister (1984–9), born in Mumbai (Bombay), W India, the eldest son of Indira Gandhi and the grandson of Nehru. He studied at Cambridge University, and became a pilot with Indian Airlines (1968). Following the death of his brother Sanjay Gandhi (1946–80) in an air crash, he was elected to his brother's Amethi parliamentary seat (1981) and appointed a general secretary …

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rally

A form of motor racing which demands skill and endurance from driver and navigator. Rallies are raced over several days (sometimes weeks) both on open roads and in forests, national parks, etc, where special stages are organized. Drivers use modified production cars. Famous rallies include the Monte Carlo Rally, the RAC Lombard Rally, and the Safari Rally. Rally refers to a gathering, as in…

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Ralph (Albert) Blakelock

Painter, born in New York City, New York, USA. He studied medicine but became a landscape painter during the 1860s. His moody and evocative pictures, such as ‘Indian Encampment’ (c.1870) and ‘Moonlight’ (1886) have ensured his reputation. He was committed to an insane asylum in 1899, and after his release in 1916 he never painted again. Ralph Albert Blakelock (October 15, 1847 - August …

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Ralph (Asher) Alpher

Physicist, born in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. After studying at George Washington University, he spent World War 2 as a civilian physicist and afterwards worked at Johns Hopkins University and in industry. Together with George Gamow, he proposed in 1948 the ‘alpha, beta, gamma’ theory (the name of physicist Hans Bethe was added in absentia to the authorship, to make the alphabetical …

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Ralph (Edward) Flanders

Mechanical engineer and US senator, born in Barnet, Vermont, USA. While working at a machine tool factory, he continued with his self-education, and after contributing articles to machine-shop journals, he became an editor of Machine in New York City (1905–10). Returning to Vermont, he joined a machine-tool company and rose to become its president. During World War 2 he was on the War Production …

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Ralph (Hall) Brown

Geographer, born in Ayer, Massachusetts, USA. A specialist in historical geography, his best known works include Mirror for Americans (1943) and Historical Geography of the United States (1948). He is regarded as one of the founders of historical geography in North America. His various film roles include Jaye Davidson's boyfriend Dave in The Crying Game, Danny the drug dealer in Withnail an…

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Ralph (Harold) Metcalfe

US representative and athlete, born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He won Olympic track medals in 1932 and 1936, was a track coach, and also an army veteran. He later served as a Chicago alderman (1955–67) and congressman (Democrat, Illinois, 1971–8). Ralph Harold Metcalfe (May 30, 1910 - October 10, 1978) was an American athlete who jointly held the world record for the 100 metre sprint. …

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Ralph (Nathaniel) Fiennes - Trivia

Actor, born in Suffolk, UK, the brother of Joseph Fiennes. He studied drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London before joining the National Theatre (1987) and the Royal Shakespeare Company (1989–90). His film debut was in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights (1991), and his compelling performance in Schindler's List (1993) earned him a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination for Best Su…

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Ralph (Stockman) Tarr

Geologist and geographer, born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA. He studied geology and physiography at Harvard under Nathaniel Shaler and William Davis, graduating in 1891. He taught at Cornell (1892–1912), publishing textbooks including Elementary Physical Geography (1895). He organized the Cornell Greenland Expedition that travelled with Peary (1896) and led the National Geographic Society's …

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Ralph (Waldo) Ellison - Biography, Works

Writer, born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. He studied music at Tuskegee Institute before moving to New York City to study sculpture. A protégé of Richard Wright, whom he met in 1937, he wrote reviews, essays, and short stories. He spent seven years writing Invisible Man (1952, National Book Award), and although it was his only novel it gained him a place as a respected American writer and rem…

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Ralph Adams Cram

Architect and writer, born in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, USA. In partnership in Boston with Bertram Goodhue and then with Frank William Ferguson (1892–1913), he became identified with the Gothic Revival style, particularly in church and collegiate architecture. His projects include the Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York (1915–41), West Point (1903–10), and Princeton University (1907–…

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Ralph Allen

Postmaster and philanthropist, born in Cornwall, SW England, UK. His grandmother ran the post office at St Colomb Major in Cornwall, and at the age of 14 he became clerk there. He moved to Bath c.1710 and when 19 he gained the position of postmaster. Over the next few years he made a fortune by improving postal routes in England, and also acquired the local quarries that were soon providing stone …

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Ralph Barton Perry - Selected works

Philosopher, born in Poultney, Vermont, USA. Earning a Harvard doctorate (1899), he taught briefly at Williams and Smith Colleges, then returned to Harvard to teach (1902–46). A key advocate of the ‘new realism’ and of philosophical clarity and precision, he outlined a naturalistic value theory in such works as The General Theory of Value (1926). His Puritanism and Democracy (1944) was a classi…

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Ralph Boston

Athlete, born in Laurel, Mississippi, USA. A leading long-jumper of the 1960s, he established an unusual treble by winning the gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics, a silver at Tokyo in 1964, and a bronze at Mexico City in 1968. He was the first man to jump over 27 ft/8·2 m. Ralph Harold Boston (born May 9, 1939 in Laurel, Mississippi) is an American athlete. Between the Olym…

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Ralph Burns

Musician, born in Newton, Massachusetts, USA. An innovative modern jazz arranger, he studied at the New England Conservatory of Music (1938–9). He began with Charlie Barnet in New York as a pianist-arranger (1940–3) and then played with Red Norvo for a year. He joined Woody Herman in 1944 and served as his staff arranger until 1954, helping to establish the distinctive style of Herman's First, S…

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Ralph Cudworth

Philosopher and theologian, born in Aller, Somerset, SW England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, where he became a tutor, and leader of the ‘Cambridge Platonists’. He was professor of Hebrew (1645), rector of North Cadbury, Somerset (1650), and Master of Christ's College (1654). His best-known work, The True Intellectual System of the Universe (1678), aimed to establish the reality of a supreme div…

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Ralph Hodgson - Early life, Poet and publisher, In Japan, Retirement in the USA, Later work, Quotes

Poet, born in Yorkshire, N England, UK. He became a journalist in London and editor of Fry's Magazine, and a member of the group of poets known as the ‘Georgians’. He is best known for three volumes of poems with the recurring theme of nature and England: The Last Blackbird (1907), Eve (1913), and Poems (1917), which contains the polemic against the destruction of animals for feminine vanity in …

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Ralph Izard - Early life, Death and legacy

US senator and diplomat, born in Charlestown, South Carolina, USA. As a diplomat in Paris, he secured warships for the American revolutionaries. A member of the Continental Congress (1782–3), South Carolina elected him to the first US Senate (1789–95). Izard was born at "The Elms" near Charleston, South Carolina. His maternal grandfather was Province of South Carolina Governor Robert John…

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Ralph Lauren - Clothing brands, Imitations

Fashion designer, born in the Bronx, New York, USA. As a fledgling designer, he changed his name in the mid-1950s. He founded Polo for men (1968) and Ralph Lauren women's collections (1971). His casual, expensive ready-to-wear range was distinguished by classic designs and a rich mixture of fabrics, texture, and colour, and won him eight Coty Awards. His clothing, housewares, and accessories brill…

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Ralph Linton

Cultural anthropologist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied at Swarthmore College, PA, then at Pennsylvania, Columbia, and Harvard universities. On his return from fieldwork in Polynesia, he joined the Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and became professor of sociology at Wisconsin (1928–37), Columbia (1937–46), and Yale (1946–53). He pioneered the use of the terms status a…

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Ralph Manheim - Biography

Translator, born in New York City, New York, USA. Regarded as the dean of American professional translators, he produced more than 100 English translations of works by Freud, Jung, Heidegger, Brecht, Grass, Hesse, Proust, and other French and German writers. His many prizes included a MacArthur Foundation ‘genius’ award (1983). He lived after 1950 in Paris and after 1985 in England. Ralph…

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Ralph Nader - Early career, Clash with the automobile industry, Activism, Presidential campaigns, Unofficial appearances, Works

Lawyer and consumer advocate, born in Winsted, Connecticut, USA. He studied at Princeton (1955) and Harvard Law School (1958), then established a practice in Hartford. Convinced that automobile injuries were often due to unsafe vehicle design, he wrote Unsafe at Any Speed (1965, rev 1972), which aroused public interest and led to the passage of the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Ac…

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Ralph Thomas Walker - Selected designs

Architect, born in Waterbury, Connecticut, USA. He was known for his 1920s Art Deco skyscrapers, and later he designed hundreds of laboratories and research centres. He was acclaimed in 1957 by the American Institute of Architects as ‘the architect of the century’ and by Frank Lloyd Wright as ‘the only other architect in America’. Ralph Thomas Walker (1889–1973) was an American archit…

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Ralph Vaughan Williams - Biography, Style, Works

Composer, born in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, London, Berlin, and Paris, but remained unaffected by continental European influence, and developed a national style of music deriving from English choral tradition, especially of the Tudor period, and folksong. Notable in his early orchestral music is the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis (1910) for strin…

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Ralph Waldo Emerson - Life, Works, Further reading

Essayist, poet, and lecturer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The son of a Unitarian minister, he was eight years old when his father died leaving six young children. At age 14 he entered Harvard, where he ran messages for the president and worked as a waiter. He also began the journal that he kept up for 50 years, the source of many of his poems, essays, and lectures. Unhappy teaching (1821–…

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RAM

Acronym for random access memory (sometimes read-and-write memory), a type of computer memory, usually integrated circuits, which can be read from and written to. RAM is used in all computers; data contained in RAM is lost when the electrical power is removed. Depending on context, RAM, Ram or ram may be an acronym or a full word, and it can mean one of the following: …

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Ramadan - Practices during Ramadan

The ninth month of the Muslim year, observed as a month of fasting during which Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse between sunrise and sunset; the Ramadan fast, which ends in the festival of Id-al-Fitr, is one of the five ‘pillars’, or basic duties, of Islam. The fourth pillar of Islam which is fasting is also called Ramadan (in Arabic: رمضان, Ramad…

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Ramakrishna - Religious perspectives, Ramakrishna's impact

Hindu religious teacher, born in the Hooghly district of Bengal, E India, the son of a poor Brahmin family with little formal education. He became a priest at Dakshineswar Kali temple, near Kolkata (Calcutta), eventually forming his own religious order. He believed in self-realization and God-realization - expressing God by the way one lives and worships - and taught that all religions were differ…

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Raman scattering - Raman scattering: Stokes and anti-Stokes, Distinction with fluorescence, Selection rules

Light scattering from a material in which the scattered light comprises substance-dependent spectral lines centred on and symmetric about the frequency of the incident light; described by Chandrasekhara Raman in 1928. The frequency shift is due to an energy exchange between the incident light photons and the scattering atoms. Raman spectroscopy using lasers is an important means of studying the st…

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Ramanuja - Formative years, Five acharyas, Visishtadvaita philosophy, Writings, Brindavan

Hindu theologian and philosopher, born in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, S India. He organized temple worship, founded centres to disseminate his doctrine of devotion to Visnu and Siva, and provided the intellectual basis for the practice of bhakti, or devotional worship. Ramanuja (Sanskrit:?रामानुज, Rāmānuja?) (traditionally 1017–1137 CE) was a Tamil theologian, philosopher, …

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Ramayana - Structure of Valmiki Ramayana, Synopsis, Morals in Ramayana

One of the two great Sanskrit epics of ancient India, which tells the story of Rama, his wife Sita, and the evil forces ranged against them. Though ascribed to the sage Valmiki, it derives from oral tradition. Its 24 000 couplets make it one-quarter the length of the Mahabharata. It remains the pre-eminent book for over a hundred million Hindus, for whom it is their main source of spiritual inspi…

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Ramblers' Association - What the Association does, How the groups work, History

A British federation of local rambling clubs, established in 1935. It campaigns for access to open countryside, defends outstanding landscape and rights-of-way, and is one of the main advocates of long-distance footpaths, such as the Pennine Way. The Ramblers' Association is the largest walkers rights organisation in Great Britain which aims to look after the interests of walkers (or ramble…

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Ramiz Alia

Albanian statesman and president (1985–92), born in Shkodër, NW Albania. A former president of the youth wing of the ruling Communist Party of Labour of Albania (APL), he was inducted into the Party's central committee in 1954 and made minister of education (1955) and head of agitprop (1958). He entered the APL's secretariat (1960) and Politburo (1961), and on the death of Hoxha (1985) took over…

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ramjet - History, Design, Ramjet Types, Flight speed, Related engines, Aircraft using ramjets

A type of jet engine in which fast-moving air is slowed down by a diffuser, which produces a corresponding increase in the air's pressure. This high-pressure air then has fuel injected into it, and the mixture is continuously burned. The resulting hot gases are ejected rearwards in the form of a jet of gas. This method of jet propulsion is practical up to speeds of eight times the speed of sound. …

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Ramon Muntaner

Catalan chronicler, born in Perelada, Girona, NE Spain. A loyal soldier in the service of the House of Aragón, he went to Sicily in 1300 and took part in the siege of Messina. He is later found in Greece and Asia Minor, where he commanded a garrison at Gallipoli. In 1325–8 he wrote the Crònica o Descripcio dels Fets e Hazanyes del Inclyt Rey Don Jaume Primer, Rey Daragò, de Mallorques, e de Va…

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Rampjaar

In Dutch history the popular name for the ‘year of disasters’ (1672) marking the year France and England with Munster and Cologne declared war on the Republic of The Netherlands and invaded the country, upon which William III of Orange was made stadtholder, captain-general, and admiral (revoking the Perpetual Edict). The Dutch army was withdrawn behind the Waterlinie, leaving the rest of the Rep…

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Ramsey (William) Clark - Early life and career, Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, Controversial activism, Judicial activities

Attorney general and political activist, born in Dallas, Texas, USA. He was named attorney general (1967–9) during the anti-Vietnam War years. Although he prosecuted activists such as the Berrigan brothers, he was known to be a reasonable liberal who moved to the left in his beliefs and causes after returning to private practice. Twice an unsuccessful candidate for the US Senate from New York in …

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Ramsgate - History, Geography, Politics, Economy, Culture, Architecture, Transportation, Education, Affiliations

51°20N 1°25E, pop (2000e) 38 700. Port town in Kent, SE England, UK; S of Margate on the English Channel; resort made popular by George IV; railway; hovercraft service to France; yachting, fishing, tourism; St Augustine's Abbey and Church; model village; Celtic cross marks the spot where St Augustine is supposed to have landed in 597. Ramsgate is an English seaside town on the Isle of T…

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Ranald MacDonald - Early life, Japan, Last resting place, Further reading

Adventurer, born in Fort George, Oregon, USA. Of half-Indian, half-white descent, he ran away to sea at age 17. He ‘shipwrecked’ himself in Japan in 1848, and during his year-long imprisonment was the first teacher of English there. In the 1850s and 1860s he surfaced in Australia, Canada, and the USA as a businessman and explorer, at one point participating in the Canadian gold rush. He later re…

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Ranasinghe Premadasa

Statesman, prime minister (1978–89), and president (1989–93) of Sri Lanka, born in North Colombo, Sri Lanka. He studied at St Joseph's College, Colombo, was elected to parliament in 1960, and served as chief whip of the United National Party (1965–8, 1970–7), minister of local government (1968–70), and leader of the house (1977–8), before becoming prime minister under President Jayawardene. …

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Rancagua

34°10S 70°45W, pop (2000e) 225 800. Capital of Liberatador General Bernardo O'Higgins region, C Chile; S of Santiago; scene of a royalist victory (1814) in the Spanish–American Wars of Independence; railway; agricultural trade; El Teniente, world's largest underground copper mine, nearby; thermal springs of Cauquenes to the S; Merced Church (national monument); historical museum; Festival del…

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Randall Jarrell - Life, Career

Poet and literary critic, born in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. He was a student of John Crowe Ransom and Robert Penn Warren at Vanderbilt University. His academic career was interrupted by his service with the Army Air Corps in World War 2 (1942–6), but his war poems attracted national attention in the 1940s. Poetry and the Age (1953), a re-evaluation of modern American poets, established his reput…

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Randall Robinson - Bibliography

Lawyer and lobbyist, born in Richmond, Virginia, USA. He attended Virginia Union University and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1970. Going to Washington, DC, he served as the administrative assistant to several US representatives and was awarded a Ford Fellowship. In 1986 he became executive director of TransAfrica, a Washington-based organization (founded 1977) dedicated to protecting and a…

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Randall Thompson - Works

Composer, born in New York City, USA. He studied under Ernest Bloch, and became a fellow of the American Academy at Rome (1922–5), later teaching at Harvard, Princeton, and California universities. His music assimilates Romantic and popular American idioms, and includes symphonies, an oratorio, two operas, and a variety of chamber, piano, orchestral, and theatre music. From the 1960s he concentra…

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Randolph (Frederick Edward Spencer) Churchill

Journalist, born in London, UK, the son of Sir Winston Churchill. He studied at Oxford, and served in World War 2 as an intelligence officer on the general staff. He was Conservative MP for Preston (1940–5). A forthright commentator on current affairs, he wrote The Rise and Fall of Sir Anthony Eden (1959), and published two volumes of a full-length biography of his father (1966, 1967). Maj…

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Randolph (Silliman) Bourne

Essayist and literary critic, born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA. He was congenitally deformed (dwarfism) and did not begin college until age 23, but his intellectual range and brilliance were so developed that when he graduated from Columbia University (1913) he also published his first collection of essays, Youth and Life. He travelled in Europe for a year (1913–14), where his optimism was tes…

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Randolph Caldecott - Early life, Manchester, London, Marriage, Death, Appreciation

Artist and illustrator, born in Chester, Cheshire, NWC England, UK. He worked as a bank-clerk in Whitchurch, Shropshire and then Manchester where he attended the Manchester School of Art as an evening student, later moving to London to follow an artistic career. He illustrated Washington Irving's Old Christmas (1876) and numerous children's books, such as The House that Jack Built (1878) and Aesop…

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random number

In mathematics, a number chosen from a given set of numbers so that each has the same probability of being chosen. If the given set of numbers is the set of integers from 0 to 9 inclusive, each number has a probability of 0·1 of being chosen. A random number table is a table of digits chosen at random, each digit having a probability of 0·1 of being chosen, and each choice being independent of t…

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randomized controlled trial - Types of trials, Aspects of control in clinical trials, Randomization in clinical trials, Difficulties

A scientific method used in medicine to determine whether a new drug or other medical intervention is effective. It is designed to ensure that therapies are thoroughly evaluated before being widely used. A group of people is allocated at random to receive either the active treatment or a dummy treatment (placebo). The proportion of people in each group who benefit is then compared to see whether t…

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Randstad - Hot Issues

Urban conurbation of settlements in NW Netherlands, forming a horse-shoe shape around a central agricultural zone; contains most of the Dutch population; chief cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague. Together with the agglomerations of the Ruhr Area, Antwerp, Brussels, Paris agglomeration, the Greater London Area, and several 'smaller' urban areas such as Lille-Kortrijk and …

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Randy Newman - Biography, Songwriter, Film Composer, Musical Theater, Selected discography

Singer and songwriter, born in Los Angeles, California, USA. The nephew of three successful Hollywood composers and conductors, he began studying the piano at age seven and was writing songs professionally when he was 17. After letting others such as Judy Collins, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, and Joni Mitchell sing his songs, he took to performing at colleges and nightclubs in the late 1960s and ea…

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Ranulf de Glanvill

Jurist, born in Stratford St Andrew, Suffolk, E England, UK. As sheriff of Lancashire he defeated the Scottish king William the Lion at Alnwick (1174), who accepted the feudal lordship of the English king Henry II. From 1180 to 1189 he fought and negotiated with the Welsh and the French, and helped the king against his sons. In 1190 he went with Richard I on a crusade to the Holy Land, and died at…

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Raoul Bott

Mathematician, born in Budapest, Hungary. He emigrated with his family to the USA in 1938, and studied at McGill University, Montreal and the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (1949). He became an American citizen in the 1950s, and later held posts at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and the University of Michigan, before joining Harvard (1959–99). Working in the fiel…

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Raoul Dufy - Biography, Works

Artist and designer, born in Le Havre, NW France. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and was much influenced by Fauvism, which he later abandoned. From 1907 to 1918 he produced many fabric designs and engraved book illustrations, and in 1919 went to the Riviera, where he began a long series of swift calligraphic sketches of seascapes, regattas, and racecourse scenes. Raoul Dufy (June 3…

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Raoul Wallenberg - Birth and Family, Education and Employment, Holocaust, Arrest, Official "death" and later sightings, Honors

Swedish businessman and diplomat, born in Stockholm, Sweden. He took a science degree at Ann Arbor, then worked as the foreign representative of a European company run by a Hungarian Jew (1935–44). When Hitler began deporting Hungarian Jews to concentration camps he was sent to Hungary as a ‘diplomat’ with the assistance of the US and Swedish governments to rescue as many Jews as he could. He d…

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rape (botany)

A biennial herb (Brassica rapus, variety arvensis) growing to 1 m/3¼ ft, related to the swede, but with a non-tuberous root; bluish-green leaves; yellow, cross-shaped flowers. It is grown for fodder and, increasingly, as a source of rape-oil, obtained from crushed seeds, and rape-seed cake, made from the residue. (Family: Cruciferae.) Rape is performing penetrative sexual acts, against a…

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rape (law)

The crime committed when a person forces a male or female to have sexual intercourse without consent. An honest and reasonable belief that the woman or man has consented is a valid defence, though there have been some highly controversial judgments on this point in recent years. The law now recognizes rape by a husband against his wife. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment. Statutory rape occ…

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Raphael - Chronology of main works, Sources

Painter, born in Urbino,WC Italy. He studied at Perugia under Perugino, whose style is reflected in his earliest paintings, such as ‘The Crucifixion’ (c.1503, National Gallery, London). In c.1504 he went to Florence, where he was strongly influenced by Leonardo and Michelangelo. He completed several Madonnas, as well as such works as ‘The Holy Family’ (Madrid) and ‘The Deposition’ (1507, Bor…

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Raphael Holinshed - Further reading

English chronicler, born apparently of a Cheshire family. He went to London early in Elizabeth I's reign, and became a translator. He compiled The Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1577). Expanded and reissued under the editorship of John Hooker, alias Vowell, in 1586, it was a major source for many of Shakespeare's plays. Relatively little is known about Holinshed. He is though…

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Raphael Pumpelly

Geologist, born in Owego, New York, USA. He expanded his childhood interest in geology by studies and travels in Europe (1854–60). He investigated Arizona's silver mines (1860), then embarked on frequently hazardous geological expeditions to E Asia (1861–5). He taught mining at Harvard (1866–73) while concurrently exploring L Superior mineral deposits (1866–77). After directing various geologi…

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Raphael Semmes - Confederate States service

Confederate naval officer, born in Charles Co, Maryland, USA. He joined the US Navy in 1826, and was called to the bar in 1834. On the outbreak of the Civil War he first commanded the confederate raider Sumter, and then the Alabama, with which he captured 82 vessels, nearly all of which were sunk or burned. In 1864, the Alabama was sunk in action off Cherbourg by the US cruiser Kearsarge, but he e…

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rapid application development (RAD) - History, Advantages and disadvantages

An approach where computer systems are developed quickly, using prototyping and modern computerized design techniques. Such an approach can often reduce the time required for developing a computer system by a substantial amount (in some cases as much as 80%). The RAD approach has only become possible as a result of the availability and use of very high-level programming languages. An important sid…

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Raquel Welch - Early life, Career, Personal life, Achievements and awards, Filmography, Television work, Pop culture

Actress, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She entered beauty contests as a teenager, and worked as a model, waitress, and television weather-girl before making her film debut in 1964. Launched as a sex symbol after her scantily clad appearance in One Million Years BC (1966), she was rarely challenged by later roles, though for her role in The Three Musketeers (1973) she received a Best Actress Gold…

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Ras al-Khaimah - History, Education, Transportation, Sources

pop (2000e) 119 900; area 1690 km²/652 sq mi. Northernmost of the United Arab Emirates, bounded W by the Persian Gulf; capital, Ras al-Khaimah; offshore oil production began in 1984; industrial development largely at Khor Khuwair; cement, pharmaceuticals, limestone. It is ruled by Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qassimi. The city has two main sections Old Ras Al Khaimah and Na…

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raspberry - Images, Diseases and pests

A deciduous shrub (Rubus idaeus) growing to c.2 m/6½ ft, native to Europe and Asia; straight, slender prickles; woody, biennial stems from buds on the roots; leaves pinnately divided into 3–5 toothed leaflets; flowers 5-petalled, white. The red ‘berry’ is an aggregate of 1-seeded carpels separating cleanly from a conical receptacle when ripe. It is cultivated for fruit. (Family: Rosaceae.) …

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raster graphics

A form of picture generation by computer in which the computer drives a television monitor in order to produce the picture as 625 or more lines. The image is refreshed at regular intervals - in the UK, every 1/25 of a second. A similar technique is used to generate images on a pixel-based printer such as a laser printer or an ink-jet printer. A raster graphics image, digital image, or bitma…

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rat

A mouse-like rodent of family Muridae; name used generally for many unrelated species in this family, especially for members of genus Rattus (c.80 species throughout the Old World); also used for some species in other families. The Malaysian black rat, house rat, or roof rat (Rattus rattus) and Chinese brown rat, sewer rat, or Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) have dispersed globally in association w…

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ratel - Predators, Mating and Cubs, Etymology and pronunciation

A badger-like mammal (Mellivora capensis) native to Africa and S Asia, dark brown with top of head and centre of back pale yellowish-grey; fearless, with very tough skin; eats small animals, carrion, and vegetation; follows honeyguides to beehives and takes the honey; also known as honey badger. (Family: Mustelidae.) The Ratel (Mellivora capensis), also known as the Honey Badger, is a membe…

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rates - History, Architecture

The system of local taxation in use in the UK up to 1990 (for England and Wales; up to 1989 for Scotland). The rateable value of properties was decided by public valuers, and the rate per pound was set by the local authority. Rates were the main source of local authority funds after grants from central government. Because rates were paid only by occupiers of property, this system was regarded as u…

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Rathlin Island

area 14 km²/5½ sq mi. Island in N Antrim, N Northern Ireland, UK, 5 km/3 mi NW of Fair Head; length, 8 km/5 mi; up to 5 km/3 mi wide; rises to 137 m/449 ft; St Columba founded a church here, 6th-c; ruins of a castle where Robert the Bruce is thought to have taken refuge in 1306. Rathlin Island, or Reachlainn, in Irish is an island off the coast of County Antrim in Northern Irel…

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rationalism (architecture)

A 20th-c conception of architecture which pursued the most logical possible solution to every aspect of building. Although to some extent inherent in a great part of 20th-c architecture, it is particularly associated with the work of most of the Bauhaus and International Style architects of the 1920s and 1930s, especially in Italy. The intellectual principles of Rationalism is based on the …

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rationalism (philosophy) - Philosophical usage, History of rationalism

The tradition represented by the great 17th-c figures Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza, who believed that the general nature of the world could be established by reason alone, through a priori knowledge independent of sense-experience. It is usually contrasted with empiricism. In a popular sense, a commitment to reason as opposed to faith, convention, or emotion. It is therefore contrasted with irr…

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Ratnapura

6º41N 80º25E, pop (2001e) 45 200. Capital of Ratnapura district, SW Sabaragamuwa province, Sri Lanka; 90 km/56 mi SE of Colombo, in the valley of the Kalu Ganga; a hill topped by a Portuguese fort dominates the town; birthplace of Sirimavo Bandaranaike; ruby and sapphire mines and important gem-cutting industry; rice-producing area; rubber, graphite deposits; temple of Maha Saman Dewale, sac…

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rattlesnake

A New World pit viper of genus Crotalus (28 species); tail with a segmented rattle (except in the Santa Catalina rattlesnake, Crotalus catalinensis); rattle made from modified scales (one segment added at each moult, but old segments are lost); venom attacks blood cells. The name is also used for the pygmy or ground rattlesnakes of genus Sistrurus (3 species). …

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raven

A large crow, especially the great raven (Corvus corax) of the N hemisphere; other species found in the N hemisphere and Australia; omnivorous; territorial; does not nest in colonies. (Genus: Corvus, 9 species.) …

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Ravenna - History, Main sights, Transportation

44°25N 12°12E, pop (2000e) 142 000. Capital town of Ravenna province, Emilia-Romagna, NE Italy; 10 km/6 mi from the Adriatic Sea, connected by canal; capital of W Roman Empire in AD 409, and of later Ostrogothic and Byzantine rulers; archbishopric; railway; oil refining, natural gas, textiles, wine; Church of San Vitale (begun 526), with famous mosaics; cathedral (18th-c), octagonal baptiste…

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Ravi

River in NW India and Pakistan; one of the five rivers of the Punjab; rises in the SE Pir Panjal range; flows generally SW across the Pakistan Punjab, past Lahore, to join the R Chenab 53 km/33 mi NE of Multan; length 765 km/475 mi; part of the border between Pakistan and India. Some well-known people with this name include – …

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Ravi Shankar - Early life, Musical career, Family life, Honours, Bibliography

Sitarist, born in Benares, N India. He is widely regarded as India's most important musician, not only because of his virtuoso playing, but also as a teacher and composer. After years of intensive musical study, he set up schools of Indian music, founded the National Orchestra of India, and in the mid-1950s became the first Indian instrumentalist to undertake an international tour. He found himsel…

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Rawalpindi - History, Environment and People, Attractions in Rawalpindi, Towns in Rawalpindi

33°40N 73°08E, pop (2000e) 1 300 000. City in Punjab province, Pakistan, 258 km/160 mi NW of Lahore; strategically important location controlling routes to Kashmir; occupied by the British, 1849; interim capital, 1959–69; airfield; railway; military and commercial centre; oil refining, railway engineering, iron, chemicals, furniture, trade in grain, timber, wool. Rawalpindi (Urdu:

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ray - Ichthyology, Molecular physics, Fiction, Music, Geography, People with the surname Ray

Any of the numerous small to large bottom-dwelling cartilaginous fishes in families Anacanthobatidae, Pseudorajidae, Rajidae (skates and rays), Gymnuridae (butterfly ray), Rhinopteridae, Mobulidae (devil rays), Torpedinidae (electric rays), and Myliobatidae (eagle rays); front part of the body strongly flattened with broad pectoral fins; mouth and gill openings on the underside; tail typically sle…

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Ray Blanton

US governor, born in Hardin Co, Tennessee, USA. A construction company executive, he served in the US House of Representatives (Democrat, Tennessee, 1969–71). As governor of Tennessee (1975–9) he expanded industry and tourism, but left office early after allegedly selling pardons to 52 prisoners. In 1981 he was sentenced to three years in prison for selling liquor licences while in office. …

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Ray Charles - Biography, Halls of Fame and Other Honors, Controversies and criticisms, Children (12)

Singer, pianist, and composer, born in Albany, Georgia, USA. He lost his sight (from glaucoma) when he was six, and attended a school for the blind, where he learned to read and write music in braille and play piano and organ. Orphaned at age 15, he left school and began playing music to earn a living, moving to Seattle in 1947. Dropping his last name, he performed at clubs in the smooth lounge-s…

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Ray Lyman Wilbur

Physician, educator, and public official, born in Boonesboro, Iowa, USA. He studied at Stanford (BA, MA), went on to gain his MD (1899), and began practising medicine in San Francisco. From 1900 he was associated with Stanford for most of his career (with time out for government service) as a professor (1900–16), dean of the medical school (1911–16), and university president (1916–29). During W…

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Ray Stannard Baker

Journalist and writer, born in Lansing, Michigan, USA. A Chicago journalist, he became a leading ‘muckraking’ crusader for McClure's Magazine (1898–1906) and American Magazine (1906–15). After 1910 he made his home in Amherst, MA. While with the American Magazine he began a series of essays under the pen name, David Grayson, and his first collection. Adventures in Contentment (1907). was so po…

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Ray Tomlinson - Career, Awards and Honors

Computer engineer, the inventor of e-mail, born in Vale Mills, New York, USA. After graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he joined Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), a company that had a government contract to work on the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the precursor of the Internet. In 1971 he devised a method of sending a messag…

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Ray(mond William) Schalk

Baseball player, born in Marvel, Illinois, USA. During his 18-year career as a catcher (1912–29), primarily with the Chicago White Sox, he established many league records for fielding. He was an honest member of the ‘Black Sox’ club that conspired to lose the 1919 World Series, and was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame (1955). Cracker may refer to: In entertainment: …

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Rayleigh scattering - Derivations using particle theory, An explanation of Rayleigh scattering using the S-matrix

The scattering of light by objects which are small compared to the wavelength of light; varies as (frequency)4; described by British physicist Lord Rayleigh (1842–1919). The Rayleigh scattering of sunlight by air molecules makes the sky appear blue, since blue light is scattered more than other frequencies. Rayleigh scattering (named after Lord Rayleigh) is the scattering of light, or othe…

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Raymond (-Claude-Ferdinand) Aron

Sociologist, philosopher, and political writer, born in Paris, France. He studied at the École Normale Supérieure, later becoming professor of social philosophy at the University of Toulouse (1939) and of sociology at the Sorbonne (1955–68). He wrote for the leftist Combat (1946–7) and became a highly influential columnist for Le Figaro (1947–77). His works focused on problems of sociology an…

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Raymond (Arthur) Dart - Bibliography

Palaeoanthropologist, born in Brisbane, Queensland, NE Australia. He studied at the universities of Queensland and Sydney, and taught at University College London (1919–22), before becoming professor of anatomy at Johannesburg (1923–58). His discovery in a quarry at Taung, near the Kalahari Desert, of Australopithecus africanus in 1924 substantiated Darwin's view of Africa as the cradle of the h…

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Raymond (Charles) Moley

Lawyer and political scientist, born in Berea, Ohio, USA. A law professor at Columbia University (1928–54), he was Governor Franklin D Roosevelt's representative on the New York Justice Commission (1931–3). An early member of Roosevelt's ‘brain trust’ in 1933, he commuted from New York City to Washington while helping draft New Deal legislation. A contributing editor to Newsweek (1937–68), he…

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Raymond (Edwards) Gram Swing - College years, Early career, Career after WWI, Life outside journalism

Journalist, born in Cortland, New York, USA. A correspondent in Berlin during World War 1, he later became widely known as a radio commentator for the British Broadcasting System and the Mutual Broadcasting System. Swing attended Oberlin College, in Ohio. Swing lasted one year before he, an etenal prankster, was kicked out of school for bad behavior. After leaving Oberlin Swing …

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Raymond (Fernand) Loewy - Early work, Pennsylvania Railroad, Studebaker, Loewy designs

Industrial designer, born in Paris, France. He graduated from the University of Paris in electrical engineering (1910), and from the Ecole Lanneau in advanced engineering (1918). In the USA, he was commissioned to redesign the casing for the Gestetner duplicator, and this led to commissions for designing products and graphics for industrial corporations worldwide. His outstanding success ranges fr…

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Raymond (Hart) Massey - Footnote

Actor, born in Toronto, Ontario, SE Canada, the brother of Vincent Massey. He made his stage debut in 1922, and played Lincoln in Abe Lincoln (1938–9). On film he played leading parts in more than 60 films, including Arsenic and Old Lace (1942) and East of Eden (1955). He is remembered for his long-running television role as ‘Dr Gillespie’ in the Dr Kildare series during the 1960s. Raymo…

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Raymond (Redvers) Briggs - Selected bibliography, Film and television adaptations

Children's illustrator and writer, born in London, UK. He studied at Wimbledon School of Art and the Slade School of Art, London. He became a freelance illustrator in 1957. In 1966 his Mother Goose Treasury appeared with over 900 pictures, winning him the Kate Greenaway Medal. Father Christmas (1973), using the comic-strip format, won a second Greenaway Medal. The Snowman (1978, animated film, 198…

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Raymond (Thornton) Chandler - Biography, Novels, Short stories, Non-fiction, Famous quotes, Cultural references, Trivia

Writer, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Taken to England by his mother at age nine, he was educated there and on the Continent. He worked as a journalist for English magazines and served in the Canadian army in World War 1. Settling in the USA in 1919, he worked as a businessman, including 10 years with the oil industry (1922–32), but with the publication of his first crime story in Black Mask ma…

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Raymond Barre - Barre's First Government, 27 August 1976 - 30 March 1977

French statesman and prime minister (1976–81), born in St-Denis, Réunion. He made his reputation as an influential neo-liberal economist at the Sorbonne and as vice-president of the European Commission (1967–72). He was minister of foreign trade under President Giscard d'Estaing, and was appointed prime minister after the resignation of Jacques Chirac. During the 1980s he built up a firm politi…

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